Page last updated at 13:51 GMT, Sunday, 13 July 2008 14:51 UK

Bus and Tube fares 'may increase'

First deputy mayor Tim Parker and mayor Boris Johnson (r)
Tim Parker (left) is the former boss of Clarks shoes and the AA

Bus and Tube fares will go up if necessary, London's deputy mayor has said as he examines spending at the Greater London Authority (GLA).

Tim Parker said he would consider a fare rise in order to "properly fund" Transport for London (TfL).

"We won't shirk from taking difficult decisions if difficult decisions have to be made," he said.

Mr Parker added that there were a "huge range of opportunities" to make the GLA and TfL "more efficient".

'Prince of Darkness'

Mr Parker took up his position as first deputy mayor, chairman of TfL and chief executive of the GLA last week.

Trade unions have nicknamed him "the Prince of Darkness" after he made severe cuts as the former boss of Clarks shoes, Quickfit and the AA.

"We are in an age where there is a lot of pressure on funding and I know the attitude of the current mayor is to make sure that we properly fund Transport for London," Mr Parker told BBC One's Politics Show on Sunday.

"If that means following the inflationary increase in costs then it's only responsible to see what the impact should be on fares."

Mr Parker said Londoners wanted to know they were getting services "at the very minimum cost".

But he denied his "value for money" savings would necessarily result in a large number of job cuts at TfL.

"TfL is a very large business organisation, and the skills required to run that style of operation are general business skills," he said.

"That is not to say that the current regime is a bad one or a poor one - they have done lots of good things."

Mr Parker said the findings of an internal inquiry into the finances and running of the GLA and business arm the London Development Agency (LDA) would be published this week.

Part of its remit was to focus on allegations of mismanagement and corruption at the LDA.


SEE ALSO
Businessman is new deputy mayor
22 May 08 |  London
Boris Johnson removes LDA staff
08 May 08 |  London

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