LOOK IN ON LONDON
· Frequency cuts and over 100 routes might be withdrawn
· Transpor t network dragged back to the ‘70s
· Zero emission fleet might not happen before 2037
The war of words between the mayor of London and UK government about Transport for London’s (TfL) funding requirements was resumed as the December 11 end date of the latest support package loomed.
Having identified a £1.9bn funding gap, TfL’s finance committee has been presented with a nightmare scenario of huge cuts to services as part of a strategy of ‘managed decline’ unless the government guarantees cash to maintain the UK capital’s transport network beyond April 2023.
TfL is already required to break even by April 2023 in terms of its day-to-day income and expenditure, with fares having to match running costs. Although passenger numbers on the bus network have returned to 71% of pre-Covid levels, this is lower than expected, largely due to a slower return to the workplace and delays in opening up the UK to inbound tourism.