Today: TfL bosses rush into emergency meeting over £3.6bn funding as tube’s future hangs in the balance
Tube bosses are rushing into an emergency meeting to discuss a government long-term funding worth £3.6bn.
Headed by London mayor Sadiq Khan, TfL’s board meeting started at 12pm today but it remains unclear whether TfL bosses will accept the proposal, which was initially put on the table by transport secretary Grant Shapps on 22 July.
“We’ve been fighting tooth and nail for the best funding deal for our city,” Khan said in the meeting.
The tube network has been locked in discussions with ministers over the 20-month support package for more than a month, as TfL wanted to make sure the deal’s conditions were “fair and deliverable,” City A.M. reported.
TfL commissioner Andy Byford argued earlier this month that long-term funding would “give certainty to London and to the tens of thousands of jobs across the country that are directly linked to TfL.”
“There can be no UK recovery without a London recovery and that there can be no London recovery without a properly funded transport network,” he said on 3 August, the same day the latest round of support expired.
Since then, TfL has run its day-to-day operations with its savings.
The UK Government has provided more than £5bn in bailout funds to TfL since the pandemic, as TfL – unlike many other public transport systems around the world – relies on fare revenues rather than government funding.
If it were to be accepted, the funding would save TfL from a “managed decline” scenario, which would include a raft of cuts to bus routes and tube service reductions.