It’s being reported that the Government is threatening to take over the running of Transport for London unless Mayor Sadiq Khan agrees to a series of demands in return for a cash bailout.
The London financial paper City AM and the Financial Times say transport secretary Grant Shapps has set out a number of demands including a hike in council tax, an enlarged congestion charge zone and higher fares.
If the Mayor does not comply with the demands, the report says Shapps has threatened to take charge of the transport operator.
“We will be taking reserve legislative powers allowing us if necessary to direct TfL,” he is quoted as saying in a letter. “This would be combined with a further series of short-term funding settlements.”
Khan is seeking a £4.9 billion deal over the next 18 months, which has seen its revenues decimated by the restrictions imposed after the coronavirus pandemic hit.
With the initial deadline for an agreement expiring last week, a two week extension to TfL’s funding has been granted by ministers.