Tube shutdown averted for now as ministers extend Sadiq Khan bailout

Sadiq Khan has been granted a stay of execution by Boris Johnson, staving off a shutdown of the Tube and other London community transport just hrs in advance of funding ran out. 

With talks concerning the London mayor and Westminster failing to produce a result, the Authorities has prolonged Transport for London’s bailout for an additional fortnight. 

The hottest funding was because of to end on Saturday. The two sides have been at loggerheads around Mr Khan’s calls for for a lengthy-time period offer that will tackle a £1.5bn black gap in TfL’s funds. 

Ministers are believed to want Mr Khan to forge forward with driverless Tubes and cull a generous pension routine on provide to London Underground staff. 

The mayor, nonetheless, faces opposition from unions over the plans. The RMT union announced previously on Friday that it will go on strike around two days in early March. 

Mr Khan has threatened to shut the Tube for times on close, close bridges and tunnels and pause safer driving campaigns if ministers refuse to bow to his needs. 

He has been forced into an inflation-busting fare rise and sting Londoners with amplified council tax. The mayor is thinking about designs to introduce a £2 “clean air zone” cost on motorists as very well as a boundary charge of up to £5.50 for motorists coming into into Higher London. 

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary explained: “Over the previous two a long time, we have furnished in excess of £4.5bn to keep London’s transport community jogging. 

As the economic system opens up, we will have to strike a offer that supports TfL though symbolizing benefit for funds for all taxpayers and so I have agreed [to] a 14-day extension to keep on discussions.” 

A Transportation for London (TfL) spokesman stated: “We continue to explore our funding necessities with the Government. There is no United kingdom recovery from the pandemic with out a London restoration and there is no London recovery devoid of a effectively funded transportation network in the capital. 

“It is essential London receives the sustained extended-phrase Govt funding that is essential for the coming decades if a period of time of ‘managed decline’ of London’s transport network is to be avoided.”