TfL’s funding deal with the government, which was due to run expire today, has been extended until the end of next week as both sides still debate the terms of a longer-term funding settlement.
The extension will continue to support the capital and the transport network until 28 May 2021 on the same terms as now, and comprises an additional funding payment of £65 million with a top-up grant available based on actual passenger revenues.
The extension of the funding deal comes the week that a major report into the National Rail network is due to be published by the government – the long-delayed, and renamed Williams Report. There have been suggestions that with the rail franchises being reviewed in favour of a London Overground style concession that TfL may be granted control over parts of the mainline railways feeding into the capital as it has long been arguing for.
In a statement from the Department for Transport, they said that “support for London needs to be balanced with the national recovery and ensure fairness and value for money for the taxpayer.”
However, these short term extensions are the very opposite of what any organisation in any industry would struggle with, and with TfL’s investment plans often running years into the future, it will need to secure a long term funding agreement.
The Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, Catherine McGuinness, said: “This short extension to TfL’s funding settlement is only a sticking plaster rather than the long-term funding package that London needs.
It’s not just to London’s benefit to have TfL’s finances on a long term secure footing, but also essential for TfL’s many suppliers all around the country as well, as they need a reliable customer as much as London needs a reliable transport network.