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Emergency Funding Agreement: London

Volume 680: debated on Thursday 17 September 2020

What recent discussions he has had with (a) the Mayor of London and (b) Transport for London on the expiration of the emergency funding agreement on 17 October 2020. (906209)

The Department regularly engages with Transport for London and the Mayor, including in relation to understanding the impact of covid-19.

Private train operating companies were told on 23 March, just as lockdown began, that the Government would take on all their revenue and cost risks and support them through the pandemic. By contrast, Transport for London was not granted this emergency funding deal until 14 May. Will the Minister explain why that is and reassure Londoners that the additional emergency support that TfL needs will be confirmed as a matter of urgency, rather than being left until the eleventh hour like last time?

The Government agreed a £1.6 billion funding package in May. But let us be clear that Transport for London’s finances were in trouble well before covid-19, with a projected deficit of £220 million last year and £422 million the year before. Many of the financial problems can be directly traced to poor decision making by the current Mayor of London.