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Transport for London facing bankruptcy in days as pandemic crisis creates funding shortfall

© Jay Clark

TfL is seeking long-term government financial support as it could be about to declare bankruptcy.

Following the impact of the pandemic on passenger numbers across the London transport network, the government provided an emergency £4.5 billion package to sustain services. However, despite unprecedented intervention in London’s transport network, more funding will be needed to keep services running normally.

A spokesperson for TfL issued a statement on Saturday and said: “We continue to discuss our funding requirements with the government. There is no UK recovery from the pandemic without a London recovery and there is no London recovery without a properly funded transport network in the capital. We hope these discussions can be concluded successfully soon.”

With passenger numbers still not back to pre-pandemic levels, Transport for London is facing a finance crunch as its latest short-term funding deal ran out on Friday.

Exacerbating the problem has been the slow turnaround in passenger numbers with changes in commuting as many employers adapt to a ‘hybrid’ model with home working and a mixture of days at the office.

Having warned the government about the imminent crisis, its is reported that mayor Sadiq Khan has been negotiating through the weekend to secure a new deal.

For Londoners, TfL services could be drastically altered if the transport network goes bankrupt. 43,000 jobs are directly linked to London’s transport network, providing crucial services to residents and workers.