London’s transport network given temporary funding settlement

UK ministers have agreed on another funding deal for transport to London, but the additional £ 200 million will only last until June 24, prompting the need for another rescue deal for the capital’s transport network in the summer.

The agreement is the fourth bailout package for TfL since the start of the Cubid-19 crisis, which saw the organization’s finances ruined due to three locks and a wider transition to work from home.

In total, the Conservative National Government has provided almost £ 5 billion to make up for the collapse in passenger card revenue.

Sadiq Khan, London’s Labor mayor in charge of the transport body, said he welcomed the funding. But he added: “Once again the government has just provided a short-term financing deal that will allow TfL to continue operating transport services for a few more months.”

Although the announcement hints at “the potential for a longer-term capital investment arrangement for TfL,” the mayor said it was vital that it would become a “concrete commitment” on the part of the government.

“The only way we can avoid significant and harmful cuts in subway and bus services is if the government overcomes,” he said.

TfL’s operating grant from the central government was cut in 2018, leaving the body dependent on tariffs for its daily income.

The third temporary bailout deal was signed last June and included a commitment by Khan to raise tariffs by 4.8% from March 1 after a five-year freeze. The agreement was supposed to end in December, but the deadline was postponed three times.

The new agreement is worth £ 200 million but it includes a mechanism whereby TfL will receive additional grants if the number of passengers meets forecasts. The body will have to return a surplus if revenues are stronger than expected.

Khan is expected to provide a plan by the end of next month that presents options to achieve up to £ 400 million in additional revenue or cost savings in 2022-2023, in addition to other savings agreed for the current year.

He noted that he could generate £ 500 million a year from £ 2 a day for “clean air cargo” or expand the capital of the capital Extremely low emission zone (Olse). Other options include a £ 3.50 “Greater London Border Payment” for drivers entering the city, Khan has said in the past.

The Department of Transportation said it wants to complete a longer-term deal before the current fiscal year ends in late March.

Grant Schaps, secretary of transport, said the government had repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to London over the past two years. “These support packages must be fair to all taxpayers and the arrangement agreed today is sufficient to cover the loss of revenue from the epidemic while the mayor keeps his promises to keep TfL on the path to financial sustainability by 2023.”

The number of travelers has risen in recent weeks following the removal of Cubid-19 restrictions and government guidelines for working from home. TfL removed from Thursday the obligation of passengers to wear masks on public transport. But even though there are more people on the net, traffic is still only about 60% of its pre-epidemic levels on weekdays.

London First, the business lobby group for the capital, called on the government to agree on long-term capital funding for TfL. “London residents want to make plans and create new habits, but a full recovery is delayed by the uncertainty resulting from endless negotiations and short-term financing deals for TfL,” it read.

London’s transport network given temporary funding settlement Source link London’s transport network given temporary funding settlement

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