Negotiations continue over second Transport for London bailout

The Government wants Transport for London (TfL) to raise fares in exchange for a new bailout worth £1 billion, it has been reported.

Ministers are also demanding that the capital’s congestion charge zone is extended and free travel entitlements for children and pensions are axed, according to Sky News.

TfL’s finances have been severely hit by the drop in travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

A £1.6 billion bailout agreed with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in May only put funding in place until Saturday.

A mayoral source said: “Negotiations are ongoing to do a deal to keep TfL services running.

“Conditions such as extending a £15 congestion charge to the North and South Circular and taking free travel away from children and older people would be totally unacceptable to the mayor and he would not ask Londoners to accept them in these exceptionally difficult times.”

Mr Khan’s spokesman urged ministers to recognise that “singling out Londoners for punishment is unacceptable and makes no economic sense”.

He added: “We continue to discuss the next emergency funding package with Government and fight for a fair deal for London.”

It was reported last month that Mr Khan was seeking a £5.7 billion bailout to keep London’s transport system going for the next 18 months.

A TfL spokesman said: “We continue to discuss our immediate funding requirements with the Government and hope these discussions can be concluded successfully soon, so we can help London through this next phase of the pandemic.

“We are doing what we can to minimise costs and aim to continue operating a full service across our network while our funding discussions continue.”

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