Government funding support for Transport for London has been extended until 24 June, but although the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has welcomed the news he is calling for a 'concrete commitment' to a longer term settlement. Transport commissioner Andy Byford said he was 'pleased', but continued: '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 will be meeting regularly to work towards agreement on the government funding of the capital investment priorities shared by them, us and the Mayor. The government has confirmed in this agreement that they support the operation and maintenance of essential and safe transport services in London. Working together, we must achieve this longer-term funding settlement.'
Fare rises spark protests
Regulated fares on National Rail services will rise by 3.8 per cent tomorrow, and the increase has been condemned by transport campaigners. Transport for London fares will go up by 4.8 per cent, in a renewed bid to reduce TfL's funding gap. Campaign for Better Transport chief executive Paul Tuohy said: 'Less than a week after Covid restrictions end, this fare rise couldn’t come at a worst time and will simply add to the cost of living crisis. We need to get people back into workplaces, eating in town centre cafés and shopping on their lunch breaks to help kick start the economy. But now that many people have a choice about how many days they go into the office, higher fares and crowded trains as a result of service reductions aren’t very appealing and risks people working from home more or driving into work instead, further adding to congestion and air pollution.'
More track is laid on East West Rail
The Balfour Beatty New Track Construction train has laid the new Up Line from the Bletchley high level junction, through the new high level platform 8 and then 1.6km west as far as Newton Longville. The recently-completed replacement flyover at Bletchley includes two platforms for the future high level station, which will serve trains travelling to and from Oxford.