Call to scrap ‘ludicrous’ TFL family travel perk
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.