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 several hours before funding ran out. 

With talks concerning the London mayor and Westminster failing to generate a result, the Governing administration has extended Transport for London’s bailout for an additional fortnight. 

The most current funding was owing to stop on Saturday. The two sides have been at loggerheads about 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 in advance with driverless Tubes and cull a generous pension regime on give to London Underground employees. 

The mayor, however, faces opposition from unions more than the programs. The RMT union introduced earlier on Friday that it will go on strike over two days in early March. 

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

He has been compelled into an inflation-busting fare rise and sting Londoners with elevated council tax. The mayor is thinking of strategies to introduce a £2 “clean air zone” cost on drivers as properly as a boundary charge of up to £5.50 for motorists moving into into Bigger London. 

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary claimed: “Over the previous two many years, we’ve supplied about £4.5bn to maintain London’s transport network functioning. 

As the overall economy opens up, we must strike a deal that supports TfL even though representing price for income for all taxpayers and so I have agreed [to] a 14-day extension to proceed conversations.” 

A Transport for London (TfL) spokesman explained: “We keep on to go over our funding demands with the Governing administration. There is no Uk recovery from the pandemic with out a London recovery and there is no London restoration with out a effectively funded transportation community in the cash. 

“It is critical London receives the sustained extensive-term Government funding that is critical for the coming years if a period of ‘managed decline’ of London’s transportation community is to be avoided.”