London transport gets 500 million stg funding facility

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan travelling with passengers on a northbound Victoria line tube train during the launch of London's Night Tube

LONDON (Reuters) - London city authorities will make 500 million pounds ($567 million) available for the British capital's transport network to cover gaps left by a government support package, Mayor Sadiq Khan's office said on Wednesday.

"(The funding) is designed to ensure that TfL's budget will balance in light of the gap," it said in a statement, adding that otherwise services would have been threatened.

TfL, which runs the city's red double-decker buses and underground Tube trains among other services, agreed a 1.16 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) deal with the British government in August to run until end-March 2024.

The mayor's office said the shortfall in funding, in spite of the support package, would have meant "huge service cuts" if TfL could not deliver a further 230 million pounds in savings.

The 500-million-pound facility will be financed by the taxpayer-funded Greater London Authority, with TfL having the option to tap funds until March 2024.

Britain's government has stepped in with a number of funding packages for TfL since the start of the pandemic, when lockdowns caused a fall in passenger numbers, pressuring the transport network's finances.

($1 = 0.8821 pounds)

(Reporting by Muvija M; editing by Sachin Ravikumar and Catherine Evans)