Call to scrap ‘lu­di­crous’ TFL fam­ily travel perk

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

A PERK that grants free travel to spouses of Trans­port for Lon­don (TfL) staff costs Lon­don tax­pay­ers more than £33mil­lion a year, re­search shows.

Staff work­ing for TfL can nom­i­nate some­one liv­ing in their prop­erty – a fam­ily mem­ber, friend or lodger – to get free travel on buses, tube and DLR.

Lon­don Assem­bly mem­ber Keith Prince wants the Mayor to scrap the “ridicu­lous and un­nec­es­sary” bonus and in­stead of­fer fire­fight­ers free travel in­stead. Mr Prince said: “It seems lu­di­crous that the tax­payer has to foot a bill of over £33mil­lion a year just so TfL staff can hand out free trav­el­cards to their mates.

“The Mayor needs to scrap this ridicu­lous and un­nec­es­sary perk im­me­di­ately.”

He ar­gued the perk can­not be jus­ti­fied at a time where the Mayor is look­ing to save mil­lions within the TfL bud­get.

City Hall Con­ser­va­tives have said the perk is not part of the em­ployee con­tract and could be re­voked by trans­port bosses at any time.

Their pro­posal of fire­fight­ers get­ting free travel claims it would cost an es­ti­mated £19.8mil­lion in to­tal for the next four years, pro­vid­ing a worth­while ben­e­fit for lifesaving pub­lic ser­vants and sav­ing the tax­payer some £113.4mil­lion by 2020.

Mr Prince added: “By do­ing this, [Sadiq Khan] could save TfL and the tax­payer mil­lions in vi­tal revenue and still have money left over to pro­vide our fire­fight­ers with a valu­able thank you for their work.”

The is­sue has been raised sev­eral times with for­mer Mayor Boris John­son , and Assem­bly Mem­ber Tony Ar­bour ar­gued it would save TfL £17 mil­lion, a fig­ure quickly dis­missed by Mr John­son at the time.

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