Britain’s Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps speaks at the daily digital news conference on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain May 14, 2020. Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/Handout via REUTERS
LONDON (Reuters) – London’s transport operator, which has seen passenger numbers collapse due to coronavirus, has secured 1.6 billion pounds in government funding after warning a grant needed to be agreed to by the end of the day, the BBC reported.
Transport for London (TfL), which runs the city’s red double-decker buses and underground Tube trains among other services, has lost more than 90% of fare revenue over the last two months, according to the city’s mayor.
Lockdown measures imposed in March have restricted people’s movements with businesses shut and many people working from home.
The deal, which includes a 500-million pound loan, will see TfL resume a full underground train service as soon as possible and allows for above-inflation fare rises in future, the BBC reported.
TfL, the transport ministry and Downing Street did not make an immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.
Mayor Sadiq Khan, who belongs to the opposition Labour Party, had warned earlier that if a deal was not struck on Thursday, services would have to be reduced.
“Because we are required to keep two months’ worth of money to pay for services, we’ll have to start reducing services,” he told LBC radio.
Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Estelle Shirbon