London’s local councils have criticised plans by Mayor Sadiq Khan to slash the level of funding he provides for the popular Taxicard service.
Operated by London Councils, the scheme funds subsidised taxi journeys for disabled and mobility impaired Londoners, allowing them to make journeys many would otherwise struggle to carry out on public transport.
Users pay just a small amount of their fare, with the rest being paid for by the scheme.
Funding is provided by Transport for London, which Mr Khan chairs, and London’s local councils. TfL has announced planned cuts to its funding of 13% in the coming financial year, followed by further, smaller, cuts in the following years.
The plans have been attacked by London Councils, a cross-party body representing all local authorities in the capital, which says they “will mean fewer journeys or a lower level of subsidy for disabled people using Taxicard.”
In a letter first reported by ConservativeHome, Councillor Julian Bell warns that TfL and the Mayor’s decision to draw up the cuts without first carrying out an equalities impact assessment could leave them open to a legal challenge.
Bell, who as well as serving as Chair of London Councils Transport and Environment Committee is also the Labour leader of Ealing Council, also notes that the cuts go against Mr Khan’s election pledge to support the Taxicard scheme.
He says: “The scale of cut proposed would appear to undermine this statement of support.”
Despite planning to cut funding, City Hall has claimed it and TfL are “fully committed to the Taxicard Scheme, and can guarantee that there will no reduction at all in the service being provided anywhere in London.”