Transport for London has been granted another short-term extension to its emergency funding deal by the Government, it has been announced.
The £200 million bailout agreed in February was set to expire on 24 June but a stalemate in negotiations over a long-term funding agreement saw the deadline extended until 11.59pm this evening.
But with just hours to go until that deadline, TfL has announced yet another short-term extension, this time until 28 July.
In a statement, TfL revealed a two-week extension had been agreed with the Department for Transport so that discussions over a longer-term deal could continue.
A TfL spokesperson said: “We have today agreed with the government that our existing funding agreement will be extended until 28 July 2022 so these discussions can be continued. Whilst in receipt of government support, we have worked hard to progress all conditions placed on TfL, and continue to maintain that we have met them all.
“Working together, we must achieve a longer term capital funding settlement that ensures London’s transport network can remain reliable and efficient, can support the jobs and new homes that rely upon it and can support the economic recovery of the capital and the country as a whole. We hope these discussions can be concluded successfully soon.”
The lack of a deal continues the uncertainty over projects such as the DLR extension to Thamesmead and schemes to make it easier to walk and cycle across London. Bus services are already being cut back.
At the start of the month, London mayor Sadiq Khan requested an “urgent” meeting with Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, to “reset the relationship” between City Hall and the government.
But Shapps has been sidetracked by his attempt to become the next leader of the Conservative Party following Boris Johnson’s resignation, before dropping out of the race on Tuesday to back Rishi Sunak’s campaign.
TfL and the Department for Transport now have two weeks to thrash out a deal to resolve the financial situation that threatens to plunge London’s transport network into a “managed decline” scenario.
Joe Talora is the Local Democracy Reporter for the Greater London Authority, based at the Evening Standard. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
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