Commissioner says DfT is asking questions but not negotiating
Transport for London has agreed a seven-week extension of its current funding arrangements with the Department for Transport from 1 April until 18 May.
This will cover the period until 12 days after the mayoral election and is on the same terms as for the second half of 2020/21, but TfL commissioner Andy Byford is still pressing for support beyond then and for a long-term capital funding deal.
Earlier in March, he told the London Assembly that it was ‘a misnomer’ to say TfL was ‘in negotiations’ with the DfT over a third bail-out. ‘Let’s be really frank about this, there is no negotiation. We are answering myriad questions, literally hundreds of questions for clarification. But there is no negotiation per se.’
An updated budget for 2021/22 assumes that the level of support will probably be lower than the £3.1billion previously estimated, but with future levels of passenger demand still far from certain, this could be anything between £2.6billion and £3.2billion. Since it prepared a budget last December, TfL’s support requirement for 2022/23 has fallen by £300million to £1.5billion. It is still budgeting for £1.6billion support in 2023/24.