TfL reviewing draft proposal for long-term funding settlement

TfL zero-emission bus

Transport for London (tfL) has released a statement saying it is reviewing a draft proposal for a long-term funding settlement from the Department for Transport (DfT).

The proposal was submitted on 22 July and follows the extension of the existing emergency funding agreement, announced on 25 February, to 28 July. The four emergency funding packages introduced since March 2020 have totalled some £5bn.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says “the ball is now firmly in the Mayor’s court,” in a tweet published on 22 July.

He adds: “Despite the Mayor of London failing to provide required info for TfL finance extensions, I’ve put a long-term settlement on the table to ensure services are supported and £3.6bn of capital projects take place by 2024.”

Reacting to the funding announcement, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says: “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 needs 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.”

London’s Transport Commissioner Andy Byford meanwhile welcomes the proposal and says it will now give certainty to Londoners: “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 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.”