The UK government and the mayor of London have agreed an additional £260m emergency funding to extend the current Transport for London (TfL) funding deal until 18 May.
The deal was due to run out on 31 March 2021, when the next review of support to TfL was due to take place. The extended deal will continue to support the capital and the transport network until 18 May 2021, when a new funding deal will be put in place.
The extension comprises two additional funding payments totalling £260m with a top-up grant available based on actual passenger revenues. Ministers say this will take total government support for TfL to more than £3bn since March 2020.
In a written statement to parliament, transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “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. As a result, and given the mayoral election timetable, we have therefore agreed to roll over the existing funding deal until 18 May on the same terms as now, providing certainty over the pre-election period.
“Together, the government and the newly elected mayor will agree a new funding deal after the elections in May 2021. By this point, non-essential retail and other parts of the economy should be open and transport demand on the network will be considered when formulating a future settlement.”
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 Transport for London (TfL) spokesperson said: “We continue discussions with the government on our need for further financial support and a long-term capital funding deal. 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.”
Ministers say that support to TfL has always been under the condition that the network must make efficiency savings so it can reach financial sustainability as soon as possible.
The government also says that while it remains committed to supporting London and the transport network on which it depends, and will commence discussions for a further funding deal as soon as the mayoral elections are concluded, it says support for London needs to be balanced with the national recovery and supporting the national transport network as a whole.