TfL accepts Government bailout offer to extend emergency funding package

T

ransport for London (TfL) has accepted the Government’s offer to extend its bailout by seven weeks despite calling for a long-term deal.

The collapse in passenger numbers during the coronavirus pandemic has decimated TfL’s finances, leading it to require Government funding to keep services running.

A £1.6 billion bailout was agreed in May 2020, followed by a £1.8 billion deal in November 2020.

The funding package agreed in November to keep services running was due to expire next week but will now continue until May 18.

A Transport for London (TfL) spokesman said: “We have today agreed with the Government that our funding will be extended until May 18 on the same terms that have applied to our funding for the second half of 2020/21.

“We continue discussions with the Government on our need for further financial support and a long-term capital funding deal.

The spokesperson added that this is “vital for us to support a strong and robust recovery from the pandemic, and to provide confidence to our UK-wide supply chain.”

Responding to Transport for London’s (TfL) decision, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “This seven-week extension will enable TfL to carry on running the safe, reliable and frequent services that will be vital as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.

“These discussions will continue as it is essential that TfL has further financial support and a long-term capital funding deal that will allow it to support a strong and robust recovery for London and the UK.”

A Department for Transport spokesman added that the government is “committed” to supporting London’s transport network through the pandemic and has already provided more than £3 billion in emergency funding to TfL.

“The roadmap set out by the Prime Minister to cautiously and safely reopen society and our economy means we can better understand the potential recovery in passenger demand, ensuring we deliver a sensible and appropriate deal in the future,” they said.