Passengers on London Underground's Piccadilly Line wearing coronavirus face coverings

UK:·Transport for London has asked for time to consider a funding deal proposed by the government, Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said on February 21.

‘We have provided TfL with a deal that both supports London’s transport network and is fair to taxpayers across the UK’, said Shapps. ‘TfL has asked for time to consider the proposal, and so a short extension of the previous funding deal until February 25 has been agreed.’

TfL’s previous agreement with the Department for Transport had expired on February 18 with no extension in place. On February 19 the Mayor of London’s office said TfL would have to consider options ‘including ultimately issuing a report under section 114 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 — in effect declaring TfL bankrupt’ if no agreement is reached.

TfL said it remained in a position to meet its operational and contractual obligations ‘in the near term’, but it wants a longer term capital funding settlement of at least three years ‘that ensures London’s transport network can remain reliable and efficient’.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said the latest extension until February 25 would allow negotiations to continue.

‘The pandemic is the only reason TfL is facing a financial crisis’, he said. ‘I urge the government to engage with TfL and City Hall in good faith so that we can finally agree a fair, long-term funding deal that will protect London’s transport network — for the sake of the capital and the whole country.’

Manuel Cortes, General Secretary of the TSSA trade union, said the government should ‘stop playing politics with TfL and offer a long-term meaningful financial package’.