Transport for London has asked the Treasury for an additional half a billion in support for the remainder of the fiscal year and an additional £ 1.2 billion next year to ‘secure London’s recovery’ from the pandemic.
Documents submitted by the capital’s transport authority for government spending review include a commitment by TfL to return to a financially sustainable situation by 2023.
The body has slashed planning spending for upgrades and expansions by £ 5.7 billion due to the ‘harsh realities’ of a slump in grid revenue during Covid-19 lockdowns.
TfL has received three emergency grants from central government since March 2020, but Commissioner Andy Byford has made it clear that he wants a sustainable, longer-term investment deal that allows the body to plan ahead .
The transportation network was on track to an operational surplus before the pandemic hit.
The emergency funding over the next two years is in addition to a longer-term investment program that TfL says will help the government meet its goal of net zero decarbonization.
This would include, for example, £ 70million to modernize signage on the Piccadilly line and £ 450million to upgrade rolling stock on the Bakerloo line.
The electrification of the London bus fleet is also considered a “plug and play” project by TfL.
Much of the funding would support jobs and prosperity outside the capital. The new trains on the Bakerloo line, for example, would support a Siemens manufacturing plant in Lincolnshire.
Projects such as Crossrail 2 and the extension of the Croydon tramway to Sutton have been put on hold.
“The reduction in ridership has had a devastating impact on our finances, which we are now rebuilding.
“We are playing a central role in the economic recovery of London and the UK; supporting people on their return to London workplaces, businesses, educational institutions, retail and culture, and providing essential infrastructure and services that support new homes and jobs ”, Byford said yesterday.
A Department of Transport spokesperson previously told City AM ‘We have repeatedly shown our commitment to supporting London’s transport network during the pandemic, providing more than £ 4bn in emergency funding to Transport for London.
“The current funding agreement, which runs until December 11, takes steps to move TfL towards a financially sustainable future in a way that is fair to the domestic taxpayer.”
Read more: ‘It’s existential’: TfL boss says government failure on long-term funding deal would be London ‘betrayal’