Fares set to rise as Government squeezes out more concessions
People in their fifties would need to wait longer for free travel
Transport for London (TfL) has been granted a short term extension of the financial support package it receives from the government.
Negotiations continued up until the deadline this Friday (17 December) after they were extended for another week.
The deal sees the continuation of the current level of funding until 4 February and will see TfL receive an additional £113 million during that time.
Other transport authorities across the country have received long term funding packages to cover the reduction in revenue they have experienced during the pandemic.
Details of the agreement reached have not been published but it is understood that TfL are being required to consider further fare increases including a new higher fare on the Piccadilly line for passengers travelling into central London from Heathrow and a reduction in concessionary fares including free travel for the over 60s.
The Mayor, Sadiq Khan, and TfL senior staff are warning that London's transport network will go into 'managed decline' if a permanent funding package is not agreed.
The Mayor said, “The Government is still refusing to properly fund Transport for London which has been severely affected by COVID, yet again only providing a short-term funding deal that will only last a matter of weeks. This means that nothing has changed in terms of TfL having to plan on the basis of a managed decline of the capital’s public transport network.
“As a condition of the emergency short-term funding TfL needs to avoid collapse, the Government is forcing us to raise additional revenue in London through measures, like council tax, that will unfairly punish Londoners for the way the pandemic has hit our transport network"
A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said £4bn in emergency funding had already been provided and also claime the Mayor had provided his proposals three weeks after the original deadline.
He added, "Further details will need to be provided by 19 January. "This ensures we can fully assess these options before beginning discussions on a new funding settlement, to include a capital settlement, with TfL.
"The government remains committed to supporting London - and the transport network on which it depends - whilst also balancing fairness to national taxpayers."
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December 19, 2021