• Sofia Eugeniou

TFL face a loss of £4bn this year due to COVID-19

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

TFL is set to announce a record loss of £4bn due to coronavirus.

Recently announcing a deficit in the budget due to COVID-19, TFL detailed an over-spending problem of £600m for each month of the outbreak.

Without emergency funding from the government, TFL services will struggle to cope post-COVID-19. Asking for an emergency bailout would provide an interim period in which head members of TFL could properly revise a budget later in the year.

Image credit: MyLondon.

So far, 7,000 TFL staff have been furloughed, with 300 projects across London under suspension.

All TFL construction sites have been halted for the time being. To make matters worse, many of the projects currently suspended have been long anticipated and overdue.

The suspension of Crossrail is just one example of the harsh impact COVID-19 has had on TFL. With a new 73-mile railway under construction, Crossrail is to provide a service that crosses London from west to east.

With much of the nation already supporting the NHS in this time of crisis, is there room to keep TFL afloat, too?

Emergency government funding would ensure that staff are paid, transport is well maintained and functioning, and that other essential TFL services remain running.

Other services that cannot afford suspension include the spending of money on counselling for train drivers that have been impacted by passengers committing suicide on London’s Underground network. Up to £145,000 each year since 2011 has kept this operation going.

With TFL still in use during the pandemic by critical workers, the recent easing of lockdown measures and restrictions will allow and require more and more people to use bus and tube services.

Without financial aid of some kind, TFL will struggle to cope in the coming weeks.

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