Transport benefit for unemployed ‘set up to fail’

Kingston’s Executive Member for Transport has criticised the implementation of TfL’s concessionary fare scheme for unemployed Londoners, as new figures reveal that just 12.8% of eligible residents in the Royal Borough have been able to take it up.

Cllr Steed said: “The concessionary scheme was a fantastic initiative proposed by our Liberal Democrat colleague Mike Tuffrey on the London Assembly. It would have been a simple and effectual way to reduce the heavy burden of transport costs on those looking for work in the capital.

“I am hugely disappointed that the Mayor set up the scheme to fail: he made the application process excessively complicated and placed tight time limits on support for unemployed people, at the most difficult time to find a job in London for a generation.”

A recent cross-party report by the London Assembly was also been heavily critical of Transport for London for ‘failing to deliver the benefit intended’ of the concessionary scheme, accusing the Mayoral-run organisation of instituting unnecessary complexity into the fare structure, application process and eligibility criteria.

Cllr Steed added: “I will be writing to the Mayor’s transport spokesperson as well as the Chair of the London Assembly’s Transport Committee to demand that the half-price concessionary fares for people on job seekers allowance are made more readily available for unemployed people in Kingston.

“I also encourage residents of the borough who are out of work to apply for the scheme and demand the support which the London Mayor promised, but as it has turned out, has been so reluctant to give.”

The Executive Member made his comments as he continues to lobby the London Mayor for better accessible transport in the capital, especially for disabled and elderly residents who live in Kingston upon Thames.

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