London mayor says Transport for London at risk of bankruptcy
Transport for London (TfL) could become insolvent in “a matter of days”, the office of the mayor of London said over the weekend, as the office and the government traded barbs over the conditions for continued support for TfL.
TfL’s latest short-term funding deals ran out last Friday, with no extension in sight. “It’s vital that the government provides TfL with the long-term funding deal it needs to properly maintain vital transport services in the capital”, the Guardian quoted the a spokesperson for the mayor as saying.
The government, however, first wants to see the mayor step up efforts to implement reforms at TfL. “We’re aware that TfL are still feeling the aftereffects of the pandemic, but it is the mayor’s responsibility to accelerate overdue reforms that will ensure TfL becomes financially sustainable in a way that is fair to taxpayers”, a Department of Transport spokesperson said.
Passenger numbers have yet to fully recover in London. The number of passengers using the Tube stands at 59 percent of pre-pandemic levels, while bus passenger levels are at 75 percent.
On Sunday, the mayor’s office stressed the importance of TfL, saying that thousands of jobs in and outside London depend on the company’s services. “There is no UK recovery from the pandemic without a London recovery and there is no London recovery without a properly funded transport network in the capital.”
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