TfL given another short-term funding extension

Image above: Library photograph of London Underground

Funding deal extended again to final week of July

Transport for London’s emergency funding deal with the Government has been extended by two weeks.

The £200 million bailout agreed in February was set to expire on 24 June but a stalemate in negotiations over a long-term funding agreement saw the deadline extended until 11.59pm on 13 July. That deal will now continue until at least 28 July.

The Department for Transport said TfL had yet to show evidence it had found £400m of savings – a condition of the last bailout. TfL denies this claim.

TfL is facing a £2 billion budget black hole and has warned of massive cuts to services unless it gets more help. There have been repeated rows with the government over the funding of TfL and the cause of its financial woes.

In a statement, TfL revealed a two-week extension had been agreed with the Department for Transport so that discussions over a longer-term deal could continue.

Image above: Northfields Train Depot

Resolution of dispute still not in sight

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said:

“TfL have been unable to provide information sufficiently demonstrating that conditions outlined in the current settlement are on track and reassure the government that any long-term settlement will be in the interest of all UK taxpayers.”

A TfL spokesperson said:

“There is no UK recovery from the pandemic without a London recovery and there is no London recovery without a properly funded transport network in the capital.

“Whilst in receipt of government support, we have worked hard to progress all conditions placed on TfL, and continue to maintain that we have met them all.

“It is essential London receives the sustained long-term government funding that is vital for the coming years if a period of ‘managed decline’ of London’s transport network is to be avoided.”

Image above: Library photograph 

Public transport “will grind to a halt” without deal, say Unions

Unions have warned public transport across the capital will grind to a halt without a long-term financial plan.

TfL has previously said that cutting all “uncommitted” Healthy Streets funding, such as walking and cycling schemes, could save about £500m.

It is holding a public consultation on cuts to London’s bus services, which it has been warned could result in 16 routes being axed entirely and 78 routes being amended.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is keenly aware any changes made to the pensions or the pay of transport workers will be met with fierce resistance from unions, likely ending in further strikes and service disruption across London.

Union leaders have described TfL’s funding predicament as “a manufactured crisis” by a central government seeking to undermine TfL and the Mayor of London.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Strikes announced for July and August

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