Home Business News £1.6bn Transport for London bailout agreed with caveats

£1.6bn Transport for London bailout agreed with caveats

15th May 20 10:32 am

Transport for London (TfL) have been given a reported £1.6bn bailout after their income plummeted by 90% amid the coronavirus lockdown.

A source confirmed to the PA news agency there will be caveats to bailout which includes raising bus and Tube fares.

A mayoral source said: “The government has belatedly agreed financial support for TfL [Transport for London] to deal with Covid-19 – as they have for every other train and bus operator in the country.

“But they have forced ordinary Londoners to pay a very heavy price for doing the right thing on Covid-19 by hiking TfL fares, temporarily suspending the Freedom Pass [free travel for over 60s] at busy times and loading TfL with debt that Londoners will pay for in the long run.”

The bailout deal breaks down with £1.1bn in cash with a £505m loan, according to the Mirror newspaper.

Sadiq Khan said on Thursday that TfL will go bust unless the government delivers a £4bn bailout to fill the black hole the pandemic has caused.

There has been a dramatic plunge in income fares, the congestion charge and advertising, as a result their reserves are down by £1.2bn.

The Mayor of London warned on Thursday, “Being blunt, today is the last day. Unless the government, today gives us confirmation of the grant that we need, the consequences could be quite severe and the implications for all of us will be huge.

“The only way to balance the books is to cut services.”

Unions have told their members to refuse to work if they do not feel safe, and have threatened to close the Tube network if it becomes overwhelmed.

RMT Union chief Mick Cash told Good Morning Britain, “I don’t feel that the way the government have handled this has meant we are operating the railways safely.

“You cannot have social distancing of two metres and have the crowded buses, tubes and trains we have at this time.

“We will see an increase in infections if the government don’t get their act together and clear directions about how the buses, tubes and trains should operate.

“It’s quite clear to us that its unsafe to operate a service if you can’t keep a two-metre distance. And that’s what we said to our members, if it’s not safe don’t do it.”

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