TfL to cut capital works as £1bn funding deal announced

Posted on 01 June 2021

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Transport for London will revise its capital works programme for the coming years after agreeing a £1.08bn funding package with the government.

The transport body has been in negotiations with the government to secure funds after its income was slashed as passenger numbers remain low due to the pandemic. This morning it confirmed the government had agreed to provide at least £1.08bn for the seven months to 11 December. This could rise to £1.78bn if income from passengers is lower than forecast. Conversely, TfL will have to repay some of the £1.08bn if income is higher than expected.

The funding is contingent on TfL cutting costs. The organisation said it will need to find £900m of savings, on top of £730m of savings already budgeted in its business plan. As part of this, it will revise its medium-term capital works programme. Details of the new programme, and the projects that will be affected, will be agreed with the government as part of its 2021 spending review later this year.

In March this year, TfL said the Department for Transport had asked it to look at cutting up to 30 per cent of its capital budget. Its capital works budget for the current year excluding Crossrail is £2.2bn.

London’s transport commissioner Andy Byford said: “Today’s funding agreement with the government provides £1.08bn in base funding and further support should our passenger revenue income be lower than forecast until 11 December 2021 to enable us to continue to run near-full levels of service to stimulate London’s recovery and deliver a host of improvements like the Elizabeth line, Northern line extension and expansion of London Overground.”

In addition to the capital spending review, TfL has also committed to finding up to £1bn of new income per year from 2023, to set up a dedicated commercial property company to deliver new housing, and to work with the Department for Transport to introduce driverless trains on the London Underground.

The TSSA transport workers union has vowed to resist any job cuts. General secretary Manuel Cortes said: “The future is bleak for London’s transport system. These brutal cuts will hit TfL hard. But our union is crystal clear, any attempt to use compulsory redundancies to implement these cuts will be met with industrial action ballots.”

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