Over 50 London bus routes were saved today after London mayor Sadiq Khan announced a £25m worth of annual funding.
The extra cash will be used to prevent 53 routes from being withdrawn following concerns from thousands of Londoners.
The £25m per year will be in addition to a £500m facility set up by City Hall to cover TfL’s £230m gap, which still persists despite a long-term government funding.
Announced in June, the cuts were set forth due to the pandemic’s impact on TfL’s coffers, which forced the public body to rely on government money.
In return, the government asked City Hall to scrap or adjust around 70 bus routes to achieve savings equivalent to four per cent of the bus network.
Yesterday’s announcement confirmed that only three bus routes – numbers 11, 16 and 521 – will be scrapped from next year.
The mayor said he was “furious on behalf of Londoners that TfL was having to consider reducing the bus network due to conditions attached by the government to the funding deal.”
He said he explored “every avenue available” to save “as many buses as possible.”
“This will mean tough decisions elsewhere, but I am very pleased that the vast majority of bus routes proposed to be cut due to the Government’s funding conditions can now be saved,” Khan added.
The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said it was delighted, as buses remained “a crucial and iconic part of London’s infrastructure.”
Labour members at City Hall also rejoiced, London Tories accused the mayor of using the threat of bus cuts “to score political points against the government.”
“Londoners have had the threat of their services being cut dangled in front of them completely unnecessarily for months, so I am glad Sadiq Khan has finally backed down and changed course,” GLA Conservatives’ transport spokesperson Nick Rogers said.