Transport for London gets bailout extension
Transport for London has secured extended bailout funding, enabling it to keep running the transport network for the next seven weeks.
The existing £1.8bn funding secured in November was due to run out on 31 March 2021. But the Government and Mayor of London have agreed to extend this on the same terms, ahead of a new funding deal in mid-May. At this point lockdown restrictions will have started easing and the Government has said it will be in a better position to gauge passenger numbers.
The extension will take total government support for TfL to more than £3bn since March 2020 when the pandemic hit.
In a statement, the Government said: “Support to TfL has always been under the condition that the network must make efficiency savings so it can reach financial sustainability as soon as possible. Those conditions will also form a part of the additional funding payments announced today.”
Transport for London union TSSA welcomed the short-term funding but said a long-term capital settlement was vital to secure TfL’s successful future.
Manuel Cortes, TSSA general secretary, said: “As we emerge from lockdown it’s vital that people are encouraged onto safe public transport services rather than using private vehicles which will increase pollution levels across the capital.
“We welcome the work done to encourage active travel such as cycling and walking, but travel habits must also be shaped by mass, clean, affordable and reliable public transport, and that can only be delivered through financial certainty.”