The London Assembly has reacted to Transport for London’s budget, saying more needs to be done to improve the capital’s safety.
Earlier in March 2019, TfL published its draft budget for 2019/2020, which reaffirmed the Mayor of London’s commitment to Vision Zero, and the reduction of harmful emissions.
Vision Zero is the commitment to the capital’s safety, with the target of eliminating all deaths and serious injuries caused by collisions.
This will protect vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists, and encourage the introduction of technologies that will make fleets and other vehicles much safer.
The London Assembly is responsible for scrutinising the activity of Sadiq Khan and the financial decisions of TfL.
Responding to the draft budget, Gareth Bacon AM, Chairman of the Budget & Performance Committee, praised the fall in operating deficit from £968 million in 2017/18 to £500 million in 2018/19.
However, he is still of the opinion that more needs to be done to ensure the capital’s safety, and pointed to the reduction of the budget for non-essential road repairs.
He said: “It’s welcome news that TfL’s finances are moving in the right direction. Faced with increased risk – from economic uncertainties and from Crossrail – putting money in the bank makes sense.
“However, TfL still has a job to do moving people safely around London. We know, for example, that the budget for non-essential road repairs has been halved, with a possible impact on vulnerable road users.
“TfL should now look again across its operations and seek out opportunities where loosening the purse strings may make a meaningful difference to the travelling public.”
TfL, in its draft budget, pointed out that improvements are underway, despite what has been described as “unprecedented” government funding cuts over the last five years.
Yet while the organisation is firming up its commitment to safety, the Assembly would like to see this increased further.