Meeting with Tom Smith (Supplementary) [2]

Session date: 
December 9, 2009
Question By: 
Richard Tracey
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
Brian Coleman


Mr Mayor, you have just been asked about the relationship between yourself and ATOC on matters of the Freedom Pass and the costs. This morning London Councils has flagged up - and you may have seen it in its newsletter - its worries about ATOC asking for extra money to pay for the Freedom Pass. Now, Caroline [Pidgeon] was asking about 24 hours as I understood it but, apparently, ATOC is asking for more money for the Freedom Pass in any case when it is used on the mainline services. Are you talking to London Councils about their worries on this one and how are you going to take it forward?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Meeting with Tom Smith (Supplementary) [2]

Answer for Meeting with Tom Smith (Supplementary) [2]

Answered By: 
Brian Coleman

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Dick, as you know, the principal culprit at the moment in the Freedom Pass discussions is of course the Government, which has taken £29 million of London's money away --

Richard Tracey (AM): Scandalous.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): That is a scandal. There is the guilty party. What do they say about this matter? Nothing. Do we hear them sticking up for the interests of London? I do not think we do. I think it is a scandal. I think we need to protect the interests of the London travelling public, in particular older people who value the Freedom Pass so much and, in particular, older people who need to get to hospital appointments early in the morning and who need a 24 hour Freedom Pass so much. That is why we are working with London Councils to ensure that this vital freedom is protected. We are, for our part, absolutely determined to ensure that it remains in place and I am convinced that it will.

Richard Tracey (AM): Are you making your views very clear to Mr Sadiq Khan, the Labour Minister who is responsible for trying to take - I think it is £30 million - from London --

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): £29 million. It has gone up another £1 million.

Richard Tracey (AM): -- making it clear to him just how much we think this is a scandal?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): This is a point that has been made very forcibly to the DfT and really all I can say is that I look to the active support of Labour Members in making that point. But I do not see --

Richard Tracey (AM): Silence!

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I see a gelatinous indifference.

Valerie Shawcross (AM): Have we been named yet?

Darren Johnson (Chair): You have not been named but if you want to use some of your time to ask a question in which you might be able to divulge your views then you are welcome to do so.