Will Sadiq Khan disobey demand to axe free travel for young Londoners?

Passengers on London bus Credit: PA

London mayor Sadiq Khan today signalled his refusal to obey a government demand to axe free travel for young Londoners.

Ministers ordered City Hall to suspend the concession for under 18s as a condition of a £1.6bn rescue package for Transport for London.But Mr Khan told ITV News scrapping free bus fares was "too difficult to implement" and the ball was in the government's court.

Under 18s living in London are entitled to free bus and tram fares while 11-15-year-olds can take advantage of child rates on the Underground, DLR and Overground.Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told MPs Mr Khan's decision to freeze some fares for four years at cost of £640m, contributed to TfL's financial problems.

City Hall rejected the minister's argument, insisting TfL's finances were healthy before the coronavirus pandemic.