I support adequate funding for London’s Transport System.
In parliament last week I asked the Secretary of State for Transport:
“Will the Secretary of State assure the House that when he meets and gets into discussions with Transport for London, hopefully today or tomorrow, he will take into consideration the effects of rising fares, reduced services and possible closure of lines on the environment, job opportunities and air quality for the people of London? Will he also consider the effects on the mobility of young and older people who have campaigned for years for the ability to travel around their city, which has a higher use of public transport than many other places around the world because of progressive transport policies?”
Grant Shapps responded:
“I assure the right hon. Gentleman that we want to see this resolved, and we are in constant contact with TfL and the Mayor’s office. He is right to say that we want to ensure that TfL’s rail service, bus service and all the rest of it are there for Londoners, and those who travel into London, to use. We are well on the case, and I look forward to a resolution.”
I also, along with many other colleagues, added my name to a letter to TfL’s Commissioner, Andy Byford:
We welcome Transport for London’s decision to review its outsourced cleaning contract with ABM and to consider bringing in-house the heroic cleaners who have put their lives on the line to keep London’s transport system clean and safe during the Covid -19 pandemic.
For too long, London’s transport cleaners, the majority of whom are from Black, Asian and ethnic minority and migrant worker communities, have been overlooked and outsourced on the mistaken assumption that they were ‘non-core’ to transport operations. The pandemic has shown beyond doubt however that our cleaners are vital to the safe and efficient operation of public transport in London. We believe there is a strong safety, efficiency and equality case for ending the outsourcing of public transport cleaning in London, bringing these essential workers in-house and integrating them with other core publicly operated Transport for London functions. With this review, you have a historic opportunity to do the right thing by this workforce and London transport passengers and in the process set a new standard in the treatment of cleaners. We urge you to seize this opportunity.”