Who in West Lancashire can forget the appalling local Tory decision in 2011/12 to change, to end, the miserly concessionary travel arrangements for elderly and disabled residents?
Who can remember when the West Lancashire Pensioners’ Forum met Rosie Cooper MP and Liam Robinson from Merseytravel to ask for parity with Merseyside, and the Tory council still said no! It would cost too much. Ask LCC instead! And they said no!
Now, the Mayor of London has reached an eleventh-hour agreement with the Government on a funding deal to keep tube, bus and other TfL services in the capital running until March 2021. He has rejected government plans for a huge extension of the Congestion Charge zone, scrapping free travel for older and younger Londoners, and increasing TfL fares by more than previously agreed
His six-month deal means £1.8 billion of Government grant and borrowing made available on current projections to Transport for London to keep services running until March 2021. Transport for London is to make £160m of savings this financial year, and City Hall will need to raise additional income to protect concessions for older and younger Londoners for future years if the Mayor wants to continue these!
Sadiq Khan said the deal was “not ideal” but added “We fought hard against this Government which is so determined to punish our city for doing the right thing to tackle Covid-19. The only reason TfL needs government support is because its fares income has almost dried up since March”.
Imagine it, the government wanted to scrap free travel for over-60s. These proposals have also been successfully defeated. The Government also wanted TfL fares to rise by more than the previously agreed RPI+1 per cent This has also been successfully fought off.
Punishing the elderly is a trait of Tory politicians. Not that local Labour did much about it in West Lancashire. The Equality Act didn’t extend, we were told, to the Merseyrail annual profits fortune that is paid annually to Serco/Abellio, the shareholders. When trains left Maghull, Sefton, into West Lancashire it became the responsibility of LCC. End of story!