The London Boroughs have agreed a new five-year funding deal with Transport for London: guaranteeing the introduction of the 24hour Freedom Pass, as well as approving a fairer funding deal for Kingston.
Cllr Bob Steed, Executive Member for Transport at Kingston Council said: “I am delighted with the outcome of the negotiations between TfL and London Councils. We have succeeded in securing the future of the Freedom Pass – a lifeline for the capital’s elderly and disabled residents.”
All members of the Transport and Environment Committee (TEC) of London Councils (with the exception of Bromley) voted in favour of funding the extension of the Freedom Pass scheme.
Elderly and eligible disabled people living in London will now have free travel on the majority of London’s transport network 24 hours a day. In return, TfL have agreed to change how local authorities pay for the scheme. The overall cost of Freedom Passes to local authorities will now be determined ‘in principle by usage’ - and capped for each year between 2010/11 and 2014/15.
Cllr Steed explained: “Previously, all London boroughs were paying a standard rate for each resident who used a Freedom Pass. This was a deeply unfair system, particularly for Kingston - where tube, tram or DLR infrastructures are not available for Pass users.
“The new funding arrangement recognises the transport disparity between boroughs – and now Kingston will be paying a lower rate for the Freedom Pass scheme, as set by “resident usage”. Along with a cap on the cost of TfL services - the Five Year Plan will mean a cheaper and fairer deal for the Royal Borough.”