Boris Johnson has been criticised for ordering Transport for London to spend a further £1m on “aviation issues” despite neither he nor the agency having a role in the UK’s aviation policy.
The money is in addition to £5m already spent by TfL in lobbying against further expansion at Heathrow and promoting the Mayor’s preferred “Boris Island” scheme which would see a new international hub airport built in the Thames Estuary.
That scheme was rejected by the Government’s airport commission which, earlier this year, backed the building of a new runway at Heathrow subject to conditions designed to meet the concerns of local residents and environmental campaigners.
According to City Hall documents, the new money will be used to ensure “that the Mayor is able to contribute to the Government’s review and analysis of the Commission’s report” and “continues to represent the views of Londoners by taking an active part in the national policy debate”.
Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly have accused the Mayor of “throwing good money after bad”.
City Hall leader Caroline Pidgeon commented: “The Mayor should be explaining why he has already blown over £5 million of TfL’s valuable resources pursuing his misguided ideas for a Thames Estuary airport. Instead he is robbing TfL of even further resources.
“Six million pounds could have been far better spent on transport projects that would actually benefit Londoners.”
“From extending the cycle hire scheme into south east London through to delivering step free access at more Tube stations there are literally dozens of ways in which valuable TfL’s resources could have been better spent.”