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London battles transport cuts

London mayor Boris Johnson was this week locked in a battle with the new Conservative-led coalition government over cuts to his transport budget.

He told the London Assembly last week that he was arguing against Treasury plans to shave £108M from the Transport for London (TfL) budget as part of its £6.2bn deficit reduction plan.

“What the argument is really about between us and central government is that we feel that … we’ve made very substantial efficiencies already,” said Johnson, referring to TfL’s pledge to save £5bn, with £500M efficiencies to be gained this financial year.

As part of the savings plan, TfL also announced this week that it intended to pull out of moving its operations to the new Shard building at London Bridge, which would claw back £160M from its budget.

However, Johnson promised that transport infrastructure investment and frontline services would not suffer when pushed to explain what might be under threat if central government wins the argument.

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