New short term package agreed meaning more cuts likely
Sadiq Khan warns of 10% cut in tube services
The government and Transport for London (TfL) have reached an agreement on a short-term extension to the current funding deal. TfL will continue to need to make savings and increase revenue through increased charges to received financial support from the Treasury. The new arrangement runs only until 13 July.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has accused the government of refusing to properly engage during the discussions about the package and is warning that, without a long-term funding plan in place, a 10% reduction in Underground services, equivalent to the loss of an entire tube line and a loss of 100 bus routes is probable.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in response that the Mayor was trying to “deflect from his inability to responsibly manage the capital’s transport finances”.
Sadiq Khan, said, “The Government has only given TfL another short-term extension – of just a matter of weeks – to the current emergency funding deal. This is no way to treat Londoners and the transport network they rely upon.
“The pandemic is the only reason TfL is facing a financial crisis. If the Government continues to refuse to properly fund TfL as we desperately need, TfL will be have no choice but to put our transport network into managed decline. This would mean almost one in five bus services being axed and cuts to London Underground services of nearly 10 per cent – the equivalent of closing an entire tube line.
“I urge Grant Shapps to meet with me so that we can finally agree a fair, sustainable, long-term funding deal that will protect London’s transport network – for the sake of the capital and the whole country.”
A TfL spokesperson said, "We continue to discuss our funding requirements with the Government. 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. 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.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said, “After committing to explore a long-term settlement in February, TfL and the Mayor agreed to provide information that would sufficiently demonstrate that conditions outlined in the current settlement are on track.
“Despite the Mayor repeatedly calling on the Government to deliver a long-term deal he has once again failed to fulfil his side of the bargain and provide the vital evidence required to progress talks, thereby preventing a deal which would not only represent value for money for all taxpayers but deliver for London at this crucial time.
“Department for Transport officials have met TfL on a regular basis to try and agree this deal and the Mayor is well aware of this – to suggest anything else is simply not true and an attempt to deflect from his inability to responsibly manage the capital’s transport finances, despite receiving almost £5bn of Government bailouts.”
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