Grant Shapps the Transport secretary wrote to Sadiq Kahn the Mayor of London on the 31st October 2020 setting out the details of a £1.8 billion bailout for Transport for London. The bailout will allow buses, the tube and trains to continue in lockdown and will last until March 2021.

The Mayor, Sadiq Kahn, commented, “This is not a perfect deal, but we fought hard to get to the best possible place. The only reason TfL needs Government support is because almost all our fares income has dried up since March as Londoners have done the right thing.”

The letter from Grant Schapps highlights the continued support by DFT for Crossrail, “The funding package that we are separately discussing for Crossrail will be concluded in parallel.”

Crossrail 2 is put on hold in the agreement. Grant Shapps states in his letter, “In relation to Crossrail 2, prioritises safeguarding activity and brings an orderly end to consultancy work as soon as possible. DFT will support such safeguarding activity for this project as required.”

Hammersmith Bridge get the prioritisation it needs again Grant Schapps states in his letter,

TfL, “Commits to set aside at least £75m within the H2 Funding Period to continue the delivery of healthy streets and active travel programmes including funding for the London Boroughs under the local implementation plan process. Within this funding, TfL will prioritise the urgent delivery and operation of a temporary walking and cycle ferry as a replacement crossing for local communities affected by the closure of Hammersmith Bridge.“

He requests commitment for more money for Hammersmith Bridge,

TfL “Commits to make a fixed contribution of £4m during the H2 Funding Period for the stabilisation and repair of Hammersmith Bridge as part of the programme led by the Task Force for the Hammersmith Bridge.”

ULEZ retains support from the Transport Secretary,

TfL, “Maintains commitment to the decision made by the Mayor on 6 June 2018 to create a single larger ULEZ bounded by the North Circular and South Circular Roads with the extension coming into effect as planned on 25 October 2021.”

In other parts of the letter he sets out further requirements:

  • Continue work on TfL Go and deliver the android version of the app.
  • Works with a government led expert review on the possible implementation of driverless trains.
  • Maintains commitment to tightening LEZ in March 2021.
  • Commits to maintain, as a continuing response to the coronavirus pandemic, the current temporary changes to the Congestion Charge
  • Commits to increase fares within the Mayor’s control in January 2021 to deliver an overall equivalent of RPI+1%.

The above commitments come with a greater level of governance and financial scrutiny. Two members of HMG will join the TfL board meetings to ensure that efficiency savings are achieved. The grants are based on modelled usage assumptions and will be subject to a “true-up” process based on actual outcomes with either more cash supplied or repaid depending on the outcome.

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