Government talks over a long-term funding deal for Transport for London (TfL) have been postponed until this Friday, both transport secretary Grant Shapps and TfL have confirmed.
“We have agreed with the government that our existing funding agreement will be extended until 25 February so that these discussions can be concluded,” said a TfL spokesperson.
“Working together, we must achieve a longer-term capital funding settlement of at least three years that ensures London’s transport network can remain reliable and efficient, can support the jobs and new homes that rely upon it and can support the economic recovery of the capital and the country as a whole.
“We hope these discussions can be concluded successfully soon.”
Shapps said the deal provided “supports London’s transport network and is fair to taxpayers across the UK.”
TfL’s confirmation comes two days after the public body was forced on Saturday to admit talks were far from over, as government funding was supposed to run out last Friday.
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said TfL could effectively become bankrupt if no further funding is allocated.
“If the government refuses to deliver the funding TfL needs, it could impact TfL’s UK-wide supply chain, hitting jobs and growth and holding back the economic recovery in London and across the UK,” they added.
Pressures on the Department for Transport (DfT) to agree to a long-term funding deal have been mounting for weeks now, the latest coming from the London Assembly.
On Wednesday, London Assembly transport committee chair Caroline Pidgeon wrote a letter to Shapps, saying that without a financial deal the public body would become paralysed, City A.M. reported.
“The security of a long-term funding agreement is required urgently, so that TfL can plan and allocate resources, in order to provide Londoners with the reliable and efficient transport network they deserve.”