Photograph by Chris King

News from Siân Berry: Boost all of London with £1.50 ‘Sundays out’

30 January 2020

Londoners cut off from the capital’s cultural attractions by expensive transport could be offered monthly ‘Sundays Out’ by a brand new budget proposal backed by Sian Berry AM.

The proposal would mean the heavily promoted Transport for London weekend £1.50 off-peak fare, which currently only applies to zones 2 to 6, would be extended to include all travel zones, including zone 1 and up to zone 9, for one Sunday a month for a whole year.

Sian also proposes that the Mayor develops with boroughs monthly car-free days and events on the same day as the ‘Sundays Out’ offer applies. The plans would open up London’s world-class cultural, artist and historic attractions so people can enjoy calmer streets and won’t be put off by high travel costs.

Sian Berry says:

We’re at the end of the current Mayor’s term and yet he has left unspent nearly £71 million in a Strategic Investment Fund set aside in previous years. That’s a lot of money for Sadiq Khan to just lose down the back of the sofa. 

Today’s City Hall Green budget proposal puts this fund to good use, helping young Londoners, schools, renters, people who need access to more toilets, as well as this plan for a flat fare on Sundays. 

Every part of London has amazing things to see, and this proposal would to make it just a bit more affordable to explore our city. People in zone 1 could go to Epping Forest and people in Epping Forest could go to the Natural History Museum. Nothing should be out of bounds for Londoners because of transport costs.

The City Hall Green budget amendment predicts this new ‘Sundays Out’ offering could get an extra half a million people using public transport on these days.

‘Sundays Out’ is one part of the City Hall Green six-part amendment to the Mayor’s budget and would be funded using £27 million of the unspent £70.7 Strategic Investment Fund.

The City Hall Green amendment to the Mayor’s budget proposes:

  • Expanding planned Warmer Homes funding to support real carbon-neutral improvements to social housing, through a £30 million package to implement energy efficiencies;
  • Supporting schools to clean up the air that pupils, teachers and parents breathe including £1 million for air pollution audits and £5 million for improvement measures;
  • Empowering and supporting London’s renters by creating a £1.5 million fund to provide one-off grants to independent and grassroots renters’ rights organisations;
  • Investing £27 million to extend Transport for London’s £1.50 off peak fare to offer ‘Sundays Out’ that will include all travel zones, including zone 1, for one Sunday each month for the whole financial year, alongside a programme of promoting attractions across all zones of our city and encouraging car-free street events on these days, to help all Londoners experience and take part in our city’s culture;
  • Making all Transport for London toilets free to match changes on the railways, and funding a programme to provide high quality new toilets at tube, railway and bus stations, with an £18 million investment; and 
  • Committing £23.7 million in new funding to expand and continue the Young Londoners Fund, investing in our young people and continuing to plug the gaps in our neglected youth services.

The proposals will be funded using a total of £105.2 million, including the unallocated £70.7 million from the Strategic Investment Fund, reallocating £18 million from planned projects within the Healthy Streets budget, £6.5 million from the Mayor’s Capital Programme Reserve, £1 million from TfL’s business rates allocation reallocated to the Mayor’s budget and focused on prioritising air quality programmes, and £10 million from the council tax surplus. 

The intention is to find further funding for future years of the Young Londoners Fund from additional business rates expected in the final budget.

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