The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has warned that Transport for London is running out of money as the government considers TfL’s response to the offer of a funding deal worth £3.6 billion.
He said services could be withdrawn within days unless there is a settlement, and added that ‘he could not give a running commentary’ on the negotiations.
Although the conditions of the new funding have not been published, transport secretary Grant Shapps is known to be in favour of abolishing the operators on Underground trains, so that the system would run automatically. The Docklands Light Railway has never used drivers, although each train carries a member of staff who can take over by unlocking an emergency control panel.
Mr Khan emphasised that he was ‘ready, able and willing’ to meet Grant Shapps, but he also said Mr Shapps had not agreed to such a meeting.
RMT staff on the Underground are set to walk out for 24 hours on 19 August in a dispute over pensions, and they will be joined by employees of Arriva Rail London on the London Overground.