Bus drives down empty London street.

Council tax increase to pay for free transport in London

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced that there will be a council tax increase in London to cover the costs of free transport for under-18s and over-60s.

The increase amounts to approximately £31 per year for the average band D household, something which critics say is likely to impact the poorest and most vulnerable people living in London.

The additional council tax will help to cover the £125m funding gap that needs to be filled in order to facilitate the free travel.

It is believed that the £15 congestion charge will make up the remaining funds needed to continue with free transport for under-18s and over-60s.

The free public transport scheme was not mentioned in the £3.3bn government bailout of Transport for London that was announced last year.

Sadiq Khan, said:

“With a lot of hard work, I have been able to limit the council tax increase this year to less than half of what some expected, in the face of huge pressure from Government ministers to increase council tax to pay for public transport and policing in the capital.”

Opponents of Mr Khan have been critical of his running of TfL, and particularly the free travel scheme which he is trying to maintain despite his re-election hanging in the balance.

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