A long-overdue, long-term funding package for Transport for London (TfL) has been held up once again by the Government.
The latest short-term, sticking-plaster settlement was due to run out last Friday (4th February).
But instead of announcing the fair funding that London’s transport system desperately needs, Ministers announced another extension to negotiations at the eleventh hour- this time just lasting two weeks.
Londoners deserve better than this. The reason that TfL faces a financial cliff-edge is due to plummeting passenger numbers during the pandemic, which are yet to fully recover.
There’s no two ways about it, without proper help from the Government, we face major cuts to tube and bus services, throwing TfL into a state of managed decline.
Documents released last week show a £1.5bn financial blackhole which could cause widespread travel disruption and gridlocked roads as TfL deals with the repercussions of COVID-19.
Government delay and inaction is crippling London’s economic recovery.
Thousands of jobs across the country are at risk, road safety schemes are in jeopardy, roads and bridges are falling into disrepair and a lack of funds is damaging our environmental goals.
Enough is enough. The Department for Transport must end the uncertainty, work with TfL and the Mayor over the next two weeks and come to the table to give our transport services the shot in the arm that it urgently needs.
DR ONKAR SAHOTA AM
London Assembly Member for Ealing and Hillingdon