A Future for Public Transport in London

National Policy Circular No. NP/211/JW

27 August 2020

To all London Underground branches, TfL members and all Branches and Regional councils

Dear colleague


Yesterday, RMT published a submission to the reviews of Transport for London’s future sustainability, calling on the government to recognise that the Covid-19 crisis had finally killed off the fantasy that public transport could be funded by passenger fares and run on the cheap by cutting staff jobs. You can read this report here: https://www.rmt.org.uk/news/publications/a-future-for-public-transport-in-london-rmt/

The union’s report was submitted to inform the reviews of TfL’s future being conducted by the government and TfL itself and it shows that even before the pandemic struck, London’s transport network was desperately understaffed, creating a growing safety crisis.

In ‘A Future for Public Transport in London’, we set out not only the cost of cutting jobs before the crisis but also how more and better jobs are essential to rebuilding London’s public transport after the crisis. The report argues that the challenges of meeting London’s decarbonisation and air quality goals and rebuilding safe public transport for the future demands proper operational public funding combined with greater investment in more jobs staffing stations, assisting passengers, staffing trains and cleaning and maintaining transport infrastructure

Back in July, your union wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport putting the government on notice that we would fight any attempt to exploit TfL’s financial troubles by further privatising the capital’s transport network. We also warned against any attempt to ramp up austerity cuts to transport workers pay and conditions. Not only did we pledge to fight any attack on our members, but we said that now was the time to be reversing the miserable legacy of privatisation and austerity, not imposing it on other workers and other services.

‘A Future for Public Transport in London’ shows that more staff and better jobs are central to meeting the challenge of rebuilding a safe, accessible, affordable public transport system for the capital. You can read RMT’s ‘A Future for Public Transport in London’ here: https://www.rmt.org.uk/news/publications/a-future-for-public-transport-in-london-rmt/

This is a positive vision of a future for TfL that this union will fight for.

I will keep you updated with all further developments.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary