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TfL funding crisis: new Covid bailout deal agreed with Government

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breakthrough in the funding of Transport for London was announced on Friday when it agreed a new Covid bailout deal with the Government.

The latest deal gives TfL an additional £200m and will run until June 24.

The new deal “also includes the potential for a longer-term capital investment settlement for TfL”, the Department for Transport announced.

But it could lead to more Tube strikes as Mayor Sadiq Khan remains under Government orders to reduce the costs of TfL’s staff pension scheme.

It is the fourth Government bail-out for TfL and takes the total amount of help to almost £5bn – money that has effectively replaced income lost by TfL as a result of the collapse in travel during the pandemic.

The DfT said the aim was to finalise a deal on TfL’s capital funding – money for long-term investment projects such as new Tube trains, signalling systems, new buses and road and bridge upgrades – before the current financial year ends at the end of March.

However this “will be dependent on the Mayor and TfL’s cooperation with the Government”, including providing sufficient information regarding its capital investment plans and meeting conditions set out in last June’s settlement.

Sadiq Khan has already outlined plans to generate around £500m a year by introducing a £2 a day “clean air charge” by May 2024 or expanding the ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) to the Greater London boundary – or potentially doing both.

He would them follow this by scrapping the Ulez and congestion charge and replacing them with a London-wide system of road user charging by the end of the decade.

The DfT said the £200m was on top of an additional pledge to provide over a billion pounds of capital investment every year in last October’s Spending Review.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Over the past two years, the Government has repeatedly shown its commitment to London and the transport network it depends upon, by providing close to £5bn in emergency funding.

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