Coronavirus: Transport for London secures emergency £1.6bn bailout

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Transport for London has had to significantly reduce Tube services because of coronavirus

Transport for London (TfL) has secured £1.6bn in emergency funding to keep Tube and bus services running until September.

Under the bailout’s terms, London mayor Sadiq Khan is expected to restore a full Underground service as soon as possible.

He is also understood to have offered a 1% above-inflation fare rise in future.

Mr Khan had urged the government to provide support or risk TfL running out of money.

BBC London Political Editor Tim Donovan said other measures agreed include:

  • Placing Stay Alert advertising on the transport network
  • Reporting staff absenteeism rates to civil servants
  • A longer-term review of TfL finances.

The BBC has been told a £500m loan agreed with the Department for Transport forms part of the total.

Speaking at Thursday’s Downing Street press briefing before the deal was announced, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he was “optimistic” of finding a solution.

“We don’t know what the long-term will be.

“But in the short-term trains and buses will continue to run.”

TfL had said it would have been forced to issue a Section 114 notice – the equivalent of a public body going bust – if no deal had been reached.

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In 2019-20 Transport for London earned £4.9bn from fares -making up 47% of the transport authority’s income

It costs £600m a month to keep the network running on its current reduced service.

The lockdown has led to a 95% cut in people using the Tube compared to this time last year.

The number of bus passengers has also dropped, by 85%, and customers no longer have to tap-in to pay for rides as part of measures to protect drivers.

Most TfL services are still running, but 7,000 staff – about 25% of the workforce – have been furloughed to cut costs.

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