TfL free travel

Meeting: 
Plenary on 2004-01-14
Session date: 
January 14, 2004
Reference: 
2004/0154
Question By: 
Eric Ollerenshaw
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
Ken Livingstone

Question

At the last Mayor's Question Time, the Mayor confirmed for us that TfL give 110,000 free travel passes away each year. 93,000 of these go to non-TfL staff. If all these 93,000 passes were Zone 1-6 Travel cards, the taxpayer could be paying up to £140m a year for such privileges. This was justified on the grounds that such a concept goes back to the 1930's. What justification do you think there is for maintaining such 1930's a practice in the 21st Century, especially when the Mayor is saying there is a £1bn funding gap in the TfL budget from 2005/6 onwards? .

Answer

Answer for TfL free travel

Answer for TfL free travel

Answered By: 
Ken Livingstone

TfL runs a balanced budget and will continue to do so through 2005/6. The free travel passes for non-TfL staff do not cost TfL anything remotely like the figure suggested in the question as that assumes every person would buy a zone 1-6 travel card if the free travel pass were withdrawn - which is obviously an absurd assumption. In addition, 80% of the retired staff who have a free travel pass are over 60 years of age and entitled to free travel anyway. London Transport and now TfL have a long history of providing travel across the London transport network for staff, ex staff and nominees. This benefit is an aid to recruitment and retention of staff and is part of the overall remuneration package.When London Transport became TfL, all staff who received travel passes continued to receive them. For those staff who subsequently transferred to private companies e.g. bus operating companies, they retained their travel pass as a direct result of Transfer of Undertakings (TUPE) legislation, as passes are a benefit. Retired staff have to qualify through age and length of service before they are allowed to retain their travel pass. Each member of current staff is allowed one nominee pass. The number of passes in use changes daily with staff turnover and it is not possible to calculate frequency or length of individual journeys. . .