Sat, 02 Jul 2022

© Provided by Xinhua

When the pandemic hit, with Londoners staying home to stop the spread of coronavirus, passenger numbers on London's public transport system plummeted by 95 percent, leading to a devastating impact on TfL's finances.

LONDON, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- London's famous red buses are in danger of being forced off the streets in a funding row between City Hall and the British government, Mayor Sadiq Khan warned on Monday.

Khan said that the continued electrification of London's bus fleet is also under threat, with the date for a zero-emission fleet likely to slip till at least 2037.

Khan outlined on Monday how tens of thousands of highly skilled jobs that support the Transport for London (TfL) supply chain across the country would be at risk if projects are delayed due to lack of funding.

© Provided by Xinhua

He warned that if government ministers do not fund TfL properly, the repercussions will be felt across the country.

TfL has already paused awarding new bus contracts since early November last year, while 1,000 new red buses owned by TfL are also currently due their mid-life refurbishment.

"If the government fails to provide the funding required, TfL may be unable to refurbish these buses and, along with potential bus service cuts under a managed decline scenario, may need to be removed from the roads," Khan warned.

He said that the transport system is not only fundamental to London's success, but to driving economic prosperity right across the length and breadth of the country.

"It is no exaggeration to say that tens of thousands of highly skilled jobs will be at risk if ministers fail to properly fund TfL. In addition, our strides towards bus electrification will be halted, and the capital will suffer with fewer buses on the roads and an unreliable Tube service with aging trains," he said.

City Hall said the government only provided a short-term pandemic funding deal that lasts until Feb. 4.

When the pandemic hit, with Londoners staying home to stop the spread of coronavirus, passenger numbers on London's public transport system plummeted by 95 percent, leading to a devastating impact on TfL's finances.

TfL said 72 percent of its operating income comes from fares, whereas it is only 38 percent in New York or Paris.

"Without a clear commitment to provide sufficient long-term funding, or continued short-term deals, TfL is currently having to plan on the basis of a managed decline of the capital's public transport network," a City Hall spokesperson said.

© Provided by Xinhua

More London News

Access More

Sign up for The London News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!