Transport for London (TfL) says it is reviewing a draft proposal from the Government for a long-term funding settlement.
TfL has been operating on a series of emergency short-term funding deals since falling into financial trouble during the pandemic.
Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, said the long-term funding – if agreed – would provide much-needed certainty for those in the nation’s capital.
No agreement has yet been reached and we must make sure that the proposal is fair and that the conditions are realistic and deliverableAndy Byford, London's Transport Commissioner
He said: “Since keeping London moving through the darkest periods of the pandemic we have been making the case to Government that there can be no UK recovery without a London recovery and that there can be no London recovery without a properly funded transport network.
“We are grateful for the support we have received so far, and maintain we have met every condition that has been set by Government as we have worked towards agreeing a multi-year funding settlement that would give certainty to London and to the tens of thousands of jobs across the country that are directly linked to TfL.
“Every other major transport system around the world receives central Government funding, and London needs the same if it is to have a transport network that can continue to support homes, jobs, opportunities and economic growth. The importance of a properly funded transport network, which can offer a viable alternative to car use and can play its part in addressing the climate emergency, has again been highlighted in recent days.
“We have this evening (22 July 2022) received a draft proposal from the Government, which we are now reviewing in detail. No agreement has yet been reached and we must make sure that the proposal is fair and that the conditions are realistic and deliverable. We will respond to the Government as soon as possible.”
Announcing the proposal on Twitter, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Despite the @MayorofLondon failing to provide required info for @TfL finance extensions, I’ve put a long-term settlement on the table to ensure services are supported & £3.6bn of capital projects take place by 2024.
“The ball is now firmly in the Mayor’s court.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan welcomed the proposal, but said it was “long overdue”.
He said in a statement: “Late on Friday evening, TfL finally received a proposal for a funding settlement from the Government. This is long overdue – and the inexcusable delay has forced TfL to plan for cuts.
“While sight of this offer is welcome, we will now need to scrutinise the offer in detail to understand the impact of this offer on Londoners and the wider economy. It is in no one’s interest to have conditions that could damage TfL, unfairly punish Londoners or the economy of our capital city.
“TfL only needs financial support from the Government because it and Londoners followed the Government’s advice, which had a devastating impact on TfL finances. TfL need a sustainable funding deal that prevents the need for painful cuts to London’s transport network.
“Unless this deal offers fair sustainable funding for our capital city, which contributes £36bn net to the rest of the country, there will be devastating reductions in bus and Tube services, harming both London’s and the national economic recovery.”