“The Audacity” – London Mayor Responds to Rivals Vow to Reinstate Free Travel for Over-60’s

The Mayor of London has insisted that the Tories “forced” him to remove free travel before 9 am for over 60s, but now they want to reinstate it.

Sadiq Khan’s Dilemma

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Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, found himself backed into a corner regarding his stance on reinstating free morning rush-hour travel for older residents of London.

Opposition Criticism

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Khan’s opposition, Tory MP Susan Hall, has claimed that she would reinstate free travel for pensioners, but Khan says the Tories are the ones who removed it in the first place.

Khan’s “Cruel” Decision

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Susan Hall called Khan’s decision to permanently remove the scheme “cruel” arguing that, if she was elected, she would bring it back for old age Londoners.

An Unfair Penalty to Londoners

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Hall insisted that “Sadiq Khan should never have introduced this cruel penalty in the first place” adding that “It unfairly hits older Londoners who need to travel to early morning appointments.”

Financial Considerations

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Khan defended his position, arguing that reinstating the perk is not financially viable given budget constraints put on him by the Tories.

“The Audacity” of The Tories

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Khan spoke about “the audacity” of the Tory candidate Susan Hall to say she would reinstate the perk when he argued the Tories “forced” him to remove it in the first place.

Tory Government “Forcing” Khan

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Khan revealed, “The Conservative government were forcing me to remove free travel for those above the age of 60 and below the age of 80.”

Khan’s Reasons For Raising Council Tax

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Khan revealed that the Conservative government “refused” to allow him the use of TFL (Transport For London) money to keep the perk, forcing him to raise council tax.

Removal of Free Travel

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The decision to remove free pre-9 am travel for 60+ Oyster or Freedom Pass holders was made in 2020 at the peak of the pandemic to discourage leaving the house.

Key Workers a Priority

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Key workers, most notably NHS doctors and nurses, travelling to work in the morning was the top priority and keeping public transport clear was seen as essential for safety.

Difference in Schemes

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The 60+ Oyster scheme, which gives free travel to Londoners over the age of 60, differs from the Freedom Pass scheme, which uses council tax funds to give free travel to those over 66.

Deputy Mayor Accuses Tories

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Deputy Mayor, Joanne McCartney, argued that the Tories tried to take away the 60+ Oyster scheme altogether, which is funded by TfL.

Government The Reason For Taking Away Oyster Scheme

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“The Government tried to take away the 60+ Oyster altogether, and it was only because Sadiq fought that and stepped in, that that is still being retained,” McCartney insisted.

Hall’s Alleged Double Standards

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McCartney argued that Hall never had a problem when the Tory government removed the scheme in the first place, accusing her of having double standards.

McCartney’s Accusation

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“I can’t remember her [Ms Hall] ever standing up to her own Government when they were threatening to take it away,” McCartney said.

Reason For Not Bringing Back The Scheme

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Khan explained that he could not reintroduce the pre-9 am free travel scheme for those over 60 because it “would cost £40 million additional money.”

Sadiq Khan “Not Listening”

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Susan Hall insisted, “So many people have raised concerns about this, but as usual, Sadiq Khan is not listening to them.”

Khan Leading the Polls

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Khan is currently leading the polls ahead of the upcoming Mayoral election set to take place on May 2nd, with Conservative candidate Susan Hall in second place.

Khan Set For Victory

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Khan holds 51% of the votes in the polls, with Susan Hall a notable amount of percentage points behind with 27%.

A Labour Landslide

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If Khan holds out for the victory in the election, it would mean his third term as London Mayor, although it’s looking likely that this will be the first time he gets to work with a Labour government.

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Oscar Davies, an expert in US and UK politics and sports, is renowned for his sharp and engaging writing style, appealing to a broad spectrum of readers.

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