Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Transport

TfL seek emergency £500 million as tube and bus use falls heavily

TfL are seeking emergency funding of £500 million as coronavirus sees large falls in passengers numbers.

The need for funds is mixed with extra cash needed for Crossrail and TfL are seeking to renegotiate loans from 10 years to 30. Given Governments can borrow for 30 years at a rate of just 0.8%, Is there an excuse not to?



I raised the possibility of this happening almost three weeks ago alongside rail franchises failing. As far as I recall I think I was alone. Only in recent days have some woken up to the realities of what will happen for months if not years.

Bus in Greenwich

According to the FT numbers using the tube were down 19% and down 10% on buses. That was before many employers told staff not to come in and before airports all but shut down. If the UK does follow other nations falls could reach 90%.



It was obvious weeks ago to those who followed events firstly in Asia that this was on a different scale to previous issues and experiences overseas would impact here. Many though messaged me to say it was rubbish, scare mongering and nonsense. Sorry if this all seems a bit “I told you so” but the ignorance demonstrated by many will ultimately cost lives.

DLR at Greenwich

TfL were already in severe financial difficulties and have been cutting bus routes for a couple of years. Without assistance that could increase greatly even when the worst of the virus is over.

Many rail franchises were losing money and on the bring before Covid-19 hit passenger numbers.



The Government have previously not played ball with a Labour Mayor in London and have excluded Sadiq Khan from Cobra meetings. Now is not the time for petty party political games. If they reject funding they will be reducing London abilities as a functioning world city to near zero. TfL cannot survive without external help. End of.

 

5 Comments

  1. Steven Norris

    The trouble with the mayor is, if he can’t tax it, ban it, it’s somebody else’s fault. He haslost his grip on running TFL. Although he’s lost revenue from the government, his ban on certain advertising on the tube has lost millions, crossrail over spend so he wll use coronavirus as the main reason for the deficit

  2. TfL was no better under Johnson. He wasted millions on the new ‘routemaster’ vanity buses, which all had to be retro-fitted opening windows. Central government cut funding to TfL and that is where the problem lies.

    The over run of CrossRail is not Mayor Khan’s fault but that of signalling problems.

    • ndog

      It was 100 times better under Johnson, who understood the need for cycling infrastructure. Not like the khan who instantly reversed a number of cycle routes (new and existing)

  3. CDT

    If we are to get through the coronavirus crisis, The Government, and all political parties both at national and local levels all need to work together so we can get through it as quickly as possible.

    The Mayor of London and all other CIty Mayors around the UK need to kept fully informed so they know what is happening and how best to protect their cities residents from tne Coronavirus.

  4. Guust de Wilde

    One positive aspect of all of this is that TFL, and other transport companies as well, could now bring forward necessary repairs of the network as no travellers will be impacted.

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