Transport for London funding extended

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Transport for London (TfL) has issued an update on Government funding that it received from 17 December 2021. Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “The Government has confirmed an extension of its funding support for TfL until 4 February 2022, for which we are grateful. The Mayor has also set out a range of proposals that will help support TfL’s financial sustainability.

“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 therefore essential that discussions with Government continue so that we can agree 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. Working together we must achieve this longer term funding settlement that ensures London’s transport network can remain reliable and efficient, can support the jobs and new homes that rely upon it and can support the economic recovery of the capital and the country as a whole. This vital job is far from done.”

Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps provided a further update in the House of Commons on 5 January, saying: “I am updating the House on a seven-week extension of the current Transport for London funding settlement that was due to expire on 17 December 2021. The Mayor of London and I have agreed to extend the current settlement to 4 February 2022.

“We have thus far supported London with over £4 billion of funding and these extraordinary funding settlements for Transport for London recognise the reliance of London’s transport network on fare revenue, and the Government’s commitment now and in the future to mitigating loss of fare revenue because of the pandemic. This extension has provided certainty to Transport for London and to Londoners over the Christmas and New Year period whilst also allowing the Government and Transport for London to monitor and adapt to the impact of the Omicron variant of the virus.

“The extended settlement will continue to support the capital and its transport network – on the same terms as previously agreed – until 4 February 2022, when the Government expects there to be a new funding settlement in place. The extension letter also includes amendments to the current settlement relating to fares and the Hammersmith bridge ferry.

“On 15 December, the Department for Transport received further information and specificity from the Mayor of London relating to his proposals, set out in his letter of 8 December, to raise new income of between £0.5 billion and £1 billion in line with the commitment agreed under the June 2021 emergency settlement. The original deadline for this information was 12 November. Following receipt of the Mayor of London’s 15 December letter, the Government is satisfied that at this stage he has provided sufficient information on his proposals. We have therefore agreed to extend the current Transport for London settlement from 17 December 2021 to 4 February 2022 so that the Government is able to fully consider these proposals.

“The Government is committed to supporting London and the transport network on which it depends, whilst balancing that with supporting the national transport network as a whole.”

The Government says it is ‘committed to supporting London and the transport network on which it depends, whilst balancing that with supporting the national transport network as a whole.’ RICHARD SHARMAN