‘Ridiculous perk’ lays bare city hall gravy train, say Tories
Sadiq Khan has been accused of offering “ridiculous perks” as it emerged more than 54,000 friends and family of Transport for London staff get free travel.
Figures provided by the Mayor’s office reveal that 54,156 “nominee passes” were in use last month, offering free travel on all TfL, Tube, bus and Overground services and a small number of national rail services.
These include more than 19,000 people nominated by TfL members of staff, more than 21,000 nominated by bus drivers, more than 10,000 friends or relatives of retired TfL and staff and 3,300 people who know “third party” workers at TfL.
Susan Hall, leader of the City Hall Conservatives, who obtained the figures, said: “TfL has turned into a gravy train, splashing out on perks for friends of TfL staff while taking cash from the poorest Londoners hit by the Mayor’s Ulez tax.
“Over 50,000 people in London get free travel every day just because they know someone at TfL, with lost revenue in the hundreds of millions. Sadiq Khan should stop making excuses and scrap this ridiculous perk.”
The figures show the total number of nominee passes has increased by almost 500 in the last year. These are in addition to the free travel passes enjoyed by TfL staff.
Mr Khan has been criticised for failing to allow older Londoners to use their 60+ Oyster or Freedom Pass cards before 9am while continuing with the staff perks. He has defended nominee passes by arguing that their removal “would not generate significant revenue and could have potentially significant legal, employee relations and industrial relations implications”.
A Zones 1 to 6 annual Travelcard costs £2,976 — meaning the value of the nominee passes is worth in excess of £160 million a year. But TfL says the “cost” of providing the benefits is minimal as no extra bus or Tube services have to be provided. Last year Mr Khan offered all 5,000 TfL cleaners free travel and recently extended this to the 800 sub-contractor cleaners.
A TfL spokesman said: “Staff nominee passes are a long-standing benefit for TfL employees’ and are a low-cost way of attracting and retaining staff.”
A Little Thought:
This is nothing short of scandalous.
Why would friends and cleaners be entitled to such a perk ?
At the time of the pandemic a block was put on 60+ Oyster Card users travelling free before 0900 and it was stated that it was to reduce the numbers travelling during peak hours and keep the virus to a minimum on the tube and bus network.
After Tfl realised what revenue they made during that time they brought it in as a permanent condition that you could not use before 0900.
Now we learn cleaners etc are getting free travel and for certain they will have it before 0900 - cleaners not working on contract with TfL have to pay their fares so don't see why the cleaners in this article receive such a perk.
Sadiq Khan is a joke and certainly not worthy of office, similarly my local MP Siobhan McDonagh not worthy, they have done nothing for me or my area and see no change in the future.
She will be knocking on our doors shortly looking for support in local elections, no welcome at my door and will make sure she and her cronies know it.