Update to Mayor's Report (Supplementary) [9]

Session date: 
November 20, 2002
Question By: 
John Biggs
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Finally then, and I think at the Budget Committee, we've examined this in detail, the big iceberg within this transport budget is the escalating costs of bus contracts, as I think you've hinted already, and the question of whether London can afford that. I know that politically you will argue that we can't afford not to do that, and there needs to be a debate with Government about the right level of grant to support bus services, and I know that Labour members will join you in supporting a healthy debate on that issue. And I think that that is a constructive way to take this forward.

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Update to Mayor's Report (Supplementary) [9]

Answer for Update to Mayor's Report (Supplementary) [9]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I think the worry I have on the bus contracts is that because we negotiate a fifth each year, if you couldn't complete the final year, then the people dependent on those lines lose out. And whereas I had assumed that broadly these improvements were spread relatively equally, given there are 700 routes, that a fifth each time is pretty random across London, it's now clear that they tend to be concentrated. The ones we're currently about to sign, which will form a part of the coming year's budget, are overwhelmingly concentrated in south London and south east London, and two smaller clusters around Hayes and Tottenham.

And, therefore, I have asked TfL to produce a breakdown of which bus contracts are in each year. So that as we get into looking at next year's and the final year, we would know exactly where a termination of this expansion programme would hit whose constituencies, and that will be a very valuable campaigning tool with Members of Parliament of course.