Workers who clean London Underground and other public transport in the capital are to be given free travel, the Mayor has announced.

Sadiq Khan said he has asked Transport for London (TfL) to extend free travel on the capital’s public transport for the lowest-paid contract workers, as well as catering and security staff.

The move will benefit around 5,000 workers, who were not previously eligible for free travel.

The Mayor said he is taking “unprecedented” action to ease the financial pressure being faced by the lowest-paid transport workers.

He has also asked TfL to look into whether sick-pay standards for the lowest-paid workers could be improved and to conduct work early next year to assess TfL’s ability to bring cleaning services in house.

Mr. Khan, said: “London’s transport workers, who did so much for us during the pandemic, continue to play an essential and much-valued role in keeping our city’s transport network safe and operating.

“I’m deeply concerned about the fact the spiraling cost of living is hitting those on lower incomes the hardest. That’s why I’m taking unprecedented action to support London’s lowest-paid transport workers by removing the cost of using public transport.

“I will continue to do everything I can to help Londoners with spiraling costs, including providing targeted support directly to those on lower incomes, and to prevent financial inequalities widening further so we can continue to build a better, fairer and more prosperous city for all Londoners.”

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said: “We warmly welcome this news, which is a victory for our campaigning and a big step forward in our campaign to win justice for London’s Tube cleaners.

“For years, we’ve been pointing to the rank injustices in the way these heroic cleaners are treated and we’ve fought to get them a better deal.

“What Sadiq Khan has done here is exactly what a Labour Mayor should do and we’ll be redoubling our efforts now to make sure we finally put an end to the scourge of outsourced Tube cleaning and get cleaners brought in-house in April.”

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