The government has provided a further extension of its fourth short-term financial support package after Transport for London requested more time to respond to a new, longer term funding proposal provided in draft form late on Friday night.
The current settlement, which was due to run out today, will now stay in place until 3 August while TfL bosses go through the detail of a letter from the Department for Transport setting out the proposal, which was described by commissioner Andy Byford at a TfL board yesterday as “extremely complex” and containing “a lot of detail”, which he and his team would need more time go through and evaluate.
Sadiq Khan described the new draft proposal as “long overdue” and the latest extension of the current funding package as only being needed because the letter arrived late on a Friday evening. Byford, said he and colleagues had begun digesting its contents during the weekend.
The Mayor added: “TfL must consider if this draft proposal provides the funding needed in order to avoid having to make painful cuts, and it’s in no one’s interest to have conditions attached to this funding deal that come at a cost – damaging TfL, unfairly punishing Londoners and our economic recovery.”
On Tuesday, announcing a further strike by its London Underground staff to take place on 19 August, the RMT union said “the latest call for action has been prompted by TfL’s refusal to share the details of a draft government proposal they received regarding funding of the transport system in the capital, in secret and without any discussion with their recognised trade unions.”
Byford told the TfL board that the government proposal was “confidential” and “market sensitive”, and that he will not recommend its acceptance if “the offer is less than we need” and “doesn’t give us a balanced budget”.
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