Long overdue: TfL reviews government funding proposal
Transport for London (TfL) is currently reviewing a long-term funding proposal put on the table by the Department for Transport (DfT) yesterday.
The move comes just a few days before the latest short-term extension from central government was coming to an end.
“I’ve put a long-term settlement on the table to ensure services are supported & £3.6bn of capital projects take place by 2024,” transport secretary Grant Shapps tweeted late last night.
“The ball is now firmly in the Mayor’s court.”
The draft proposal was welcomed by TfL, who said it will respond to the government as soon as possible.
“No agreement has yet been reached and we must make sure that the proposal is fair and that the conditions are realistic and deliverable,” said TfL’s commissioner Andy Byford.
Compared to international operators, the TfL network relies on fare revenues rather than government support and as a result of the pandemic, the public body saw its finances battered.
“London needs the same if it is to have a transport network that can continue to support homes, jobs, opportunities and economic growth,” Byford added.
“There can be no UK recovery without a London recovery and that there can be no London recovery without a properly funded transport network.”
Commenting on the proposal, London mayor Sadiq Khan said it was “long overdue.”
“TfL needs a sustainable funding deal that prevents the need for painful cuts to London’s transport network,” Khan said.
“Unless this deal offers fair sustainable funding for our capital city, which contributes £36bn net to the rest of the country, there will be devastating reductions in bus and Tube services, harming both London’s and the national economic recovery.”
If it were to go ahead, a long-term funding deal will prevent TfL from triggering a “managed decline” scenario, which would include a host of bus route cuts and underground service reductions.