Free travel passes for partners of transport staff should be scrapped, Conservative members of the London Assembly have said.
According to the Conservative Assembly group, providing free travel to nominees of Transport for London staff costs £35.8m in lost fare revenue, money they say could fund a cut in City Hall’s share of the council tax.
The proposal is contained in an amendment to Mayor’s Boris Johnson’s 2014/14 budget which will be debated at City Hall on Friday.
There are currently 21,788 staff nominee passes in use according to official City Hall figures.
The Mayor’s budget includes a cut in the precept equal to 7p per week and the Mayor has committed himself to a 10% cut over the course of his second term, however Tory AMs want to see the precept reduced at a faster rate.
A spokesperson for the group said: “Our amendment reduces the Band D precept amount by 3.5%, to £295.95. This is the first time since 2006 that the precept has come below £300, making good progress towards the Mayor’s 10% reduction over his term.
“We consider it reasonable to budget for only half the value of the nominee passes as not all the current pass holders will pay for travel instead, representing an increased income from fares of £17.8 million for TfL. This money should be used to fund a precept cut.”
Mayor Johnson has previously defended the nominee pass scheme and in November claimed “the cost of providing free travel to nominees of TfL staff is nil as the amount of travel is insufficient to require additional services to be operated to cope with it.”
The amendment also includes a proposal to cut the Assembly’s budget by £300,000, money that would be spent on initiatives to help homeless veterans.
The Assembly will question the Mayor on his budget from 10am on Friday 8th February. The meeting takes place at City Hall and is open to the public. A webcast will also be available.