Munira Wilson hits out at “Tory Transport Tax” over TfL bailout

Twickenham’s MP has hit back at government proposals to increase charges to fund a Transport for London (TfL) bailout.

Liberal Democrat Munira Wilson condemned Transport Minister Grant Shapp’s refusal to rule out a transport tax for every Londoner.

She said: “It’s simply not fair to expect local residents to pay extra to subsidise commuters from outside London.

“The Government’s demands are completely unreasonable.

“They will hit those that need it most the hardest.”

TfL has lost a significant amount of revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Londoners only slowly returning to public transport.

However a significant disagreement continues as to who is responsible. 

During PMQs on Wednesday, the Prime Minister pointed the finger at Sadiq Khan for “bankrupting TfL”.

The London Mayor countered this, citing a £1.5billion deficit that he inherited when he took over in 2016.

Meanwhile independent London candidate Farah London blamed both the Government and Khan for TfL’s shortcomings.

The businesswoman said: “These proposals show the Conservative Government is slowly trying to take over our city and are a consequence of the mis-management by Mayor Khan.

“Extending the congestion charge to the North and South Circular is the last thing Londoners need.

“We shouldn’t be whacking families with a £15 bill for trying to get to work or dropping their children off at school.”

Contrary to current plans, London called for the congestion charge to be cut in order to support the recovery of businesses.

She added: “Now is the time to reduce congestion charge, support Londoners and get our city moving again.”

But Mayor of Hounslow Tony Louki defended Khan.

He said: “He has done everything that he could have. It is outrageous – this Sword of Damocles dangling over Londoners.

“Private companies are getting money but with TfL there are all kinds of strings attached.”

TfL’s current funding package is scheduled to finish by 31 October after being extended for a further two weeks as discussions with the Government continue.

A TfL spokesperson said: “We hope these discussions can be concluded successfully, so we can help London through the next phase of the pandemic.”

Featured image credit: Betsy Weber

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