Mayor pleads with DfT to hold urgent talks over TfL long-term funding
London mayor Sadiq Khan has pleaded with the Department for Transport (DfT) to hold talks over reaching a long-term funding for the battered Transport for London (TfL).
The latest funding round amounted to £200m and is set to expire on 24 June.
“While we are grateful for the support you have provided to date, its short-term nature has made it challenging for TfL to plan expenditure and a path away from government support,” Khan wrote.
The mayor argued that TfL has kept its part of the bargain and planned to cut or alter 78 of the current 620 bus routes to meet the government’s requirements and achieve £400m in savings.
“Without a long-term capital deal in two weeks’ time, TfL will be forced to start work on enacting its managed decline scenario,” he added.
Under the managed decline scenario, the public body would be forced to cut a further 80 bus lines while reducing tube services by nine per cent.
“It is absolutely imperative we meet so that we can finally agree a fair, long-term funding deal that will protect London’s transport network – not just for the sake of the capital but for the economic wellbeing of the whole country,” the mayor concluded.
The plea has come a day after City Hall blamed Westminster for the latest round of “extremely frustrating and disappointing” strikes, which was set by the union Unite for 21 June.
“At the heart of this industrial action is the government’s appalling approach to public transport across the country, not least its continued resistance to delivering the sustainable funding TfL desperately needs,” said a City Hall spokesperson.