- Transport for London, the local government body responsible for the transport system in Greater London, would need financial support from the British government as it faces an existential crisis.
- The British government must support the mass transportation system operator for a period of at least two years to improve its stability.
The pandemic and the consequent lockdowns have forced most of us to stay indoors. This has hit the mass transport systems hard and affected their profits. Andy Byford, the commissioner of Transport for London (TfL), expects the Crossrail to open much before its anticipated launch date in 2022. TfL might also need government subsidy for a couple of years. Notably, the Crossrail is expected to witness the new Elizabeth line run to Essex from Berkshire via central London.
Having hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the finances of Greater London mass transportation system have gone for a toss. To keep services running until March, TfL had sought a £1.8-billion bailout from the British government in November 2020.
The government-aided transport system shall do its bit in optimising the cost structure and channelise its savings to improve its finances and sustainability. However, the transport system is in dire need of a rescue package from the British government to avert the national asset from a collapse. The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated the group financially and has squeezed out the liquidity from its system.
(Image source: ©Kalkine Group 2020)
From the government’s perspective, further investment in the form of a rescue package can give a second lease of life to the lifeline of Greater London. In parallel, TfL’s Crossrail project could help it slide out of the existential crisis.
In general, civil projects are likely to get delayed due to lack of planning, vision, and incorrect budget estimates. The original deadline of the Crossrail project was in December 2018. However, the project got delayed as budget exceeded by £2.1 billion.
At present, the budget is expected to cost around £18 billion, which was initially set at £15.9 billion in 2007. TfL shall fire on cylinders to launch the Crossrail project well before the first half of 2022. Moreover, TfL is expected to continue with the Crossrail 2 project, which is expected to connect Surrey and south-west London with east London and Hertfordshire through the existing railway network.