Favourite to win mayoral election says he would fund fares freeze by cutting waste at Transport for London, and by taking bus contracts in-house

 

sadiq_khanLabour candidate for London mayor Sadiq Khan speaking at a debate in London this week

 

Sadiq Khan, Labour’s candidate for the London mayoral election, has set out plans for a “route and branch” review of Transport for London, stepping up his attacks on the organisation’s perceived failure to clamp down on costs.

In a recent speech, the favourite to win May’s election said the review of TfL’s management would start immediately to “identify waste and inefficiency to find new savings and make [TfL] more effective”.

Meanwhile, in a televised debate last week, Khan said that TfL should bid for its own bus operating contracts instead of awarding them to state-owned firms from other countries.

The former transport minister is under pressure to explain how efficiency savings will fund his four-year fares freeze. In his speech, Khan described TfL as becoming “more and more bloated” at a time when fares had been rising, saying: “They simply haven’t had to make the efficiency savings that other parts of the public sector have had to in recent years.”

In addition to attacking “flabby” TfL’s £383m annual consultancy spend, he cited senior pay as an example of where attention is needed. “Did you know they pay 450 staff more than £100,000 per year?” he said.

Apart from focusing on greater efficiencies within TfL, Khan said he would order a “forensic review” of TfL’s business plan to weed out projects that will not provide sufficient benefits to the public, and reform TfL’s board to make it more representative. He said it was unacceptable that 13 of the 16 person board are white males.

 

This story appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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