Transport for London (TfL) has signed a long-term funding deal with central government to keep London moving until spring 2024.
It comes after two years of fraught negotiations between the TfL and the government after passenger revenues fell due to the pandemic’s impact.
The deal was signed off by Transport for London at a board meeting today.
“The agreement with Government means that across the funding period, TfL expects to receive further base funding of around £1.2bn from Government until March 2024 and gives TfL ongoing revenue support should passenger numbers not recover at the rate budgeted, which is crucial at this time of ongoing economic uncertainty,” commented TfL commissioner Andy Byford, who has been locked in talks with ministers for more than a month.
Despite leaving “an unfunded gap in our budget,” the deal will spare TfL a “managed decline” scenario, which included a raft of cuts to bus and Tube services.
Earlier today Byford warned, without a settlement, TfL ran the risk of “handing the keys” over to the government.
“The good news is that we have managed to win a number of key concessions from the government, which mean we will be able to avoid TfL having to make the devastating cuts to vital transport services previously proposed – moving us away from the managed decline of London’s transport network,” commented London mayor Sadiq Khan.
Khan told Londoners the settlement remains “far from ideal” as there were several conditions he was forced to accept, including a reform to the pension scheme.
“These are things we have had no choice but to accept in order to get the deal over the line to avoid TfL becoming bankrupt, to save the jobs of thousands of transport workers and to keep trains, tubes and buses running across our city,” the mayor added.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps welcomed the news, urging Khan to “follow through on his promises to keep TfL on the path to financial sustainability by 2023” as stated several times by the network’s executives.