Fleet replacements would be postponed and enhancements abandoned
REPLACEMENT OF elderly Underground trains, network enhancements and all but essential renewals of London’s tube network could be axed unless the Government fills a funding gap of £1.7 billion in the 2022-23 financial year, according to Transport for London. It is expected funding will be provided to cover operational costs until the end of the current financial year, although as we went to press no successor deal had been agreed to follow the arrangement expiring on 11 December. On 2 December more than 80 organisations wrote to Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for a fair settlement to be made with TfL.
The pressures were highlighted at the TfL board meeting on 8 December, at which the latest draft budget submission to the Greater London Assembly was presented.
TfL’s deficit is predicted to rise to £1.9 billion in 2023-24 before falling to £1.7 billion in 2024-25.
Cutting infrastructure spending and services (amongst other measures) is expected to reduce these gaps to £1.1 billion in 2022-23, £0.4 billion in 2023-24 and £0.5 billion in 2024-25. The submission assumes no Government support after 2022- 23, although it notes that if funding is provided this will be reflected in the final budget in spring 2022.