London mayor Sadiq Khan has set up a £500m funding facility to cover the £230m gap left by the government’s long-term funding of Transport for London (TfL).
Khan said that City Hall’s funding facility – which could not be introduced earlier because TfL’s financial gap was too big – will be available to the transport network between now and March 2024, if necessary.
“City Hall’s innovative yet prudent approach to ensuring TfL can balance its books will help TfL to adapt to the negative impacts of the pandemic without the need for significant service cuts, protecting London’s transport network for the millions of Londoners and visitors who rely on it every day,” Khan said.
The mayor’s office added that, while the £500m extra funding will avoid additional cuts, it can’t be used to reverse its recent decision to axe or alter 78 of the current 620 bus routes.
GLA Conservatives blasted the announcement, saying the mayor was losing control of TfL.
“After months of political posturing and scaremongering about TfL cuts from the Mayor, he has now been forced to concede that they are unnecessary,” GLA Conservatives’ transport spokesperson Nick Rogers commented.
“Sadiq Khan needs to get a grip of the millions wasted on a bloated pension scheme and excessive staff perks, scrap his planned bus cuts, and ensure TfL is funded sustainably going forwards.”
The government’s long-term funding for TfL was announced late last month, following strenuous talks between City Hall and government ministers.
The 20-month £1.2bn deal will keep the capital moving until the spring of 2024, avoiding a “managed decline” scenario.
City A.M. has approached TfL for comment.