Silvertown tunnel will go ahead after lockdown despite massive cuts in TfL budget

By Jessie Mathewson, Local Democracy Reporter

Transport for London (TfL) must “completely overhaul” its business plan because of the coronavirus pandemic, its finance chief has said.

The network stands to lose up to £4 billion of income this financial year – and chief finance officer Simon Kilonback has warned of long-term consequences for transport investment in the capital.

But most building schemes on TfL’s books will continue – because the price of scrapping construction or cancelling contracts outweighs any savings, the finance boss explained.

Work on the controversial Silvertown road tunnel, and Ultra Low Emission Zone expansion will also restart.

The Northern line extension, Tube station upgrades and construction of a temporary foot and cycle crossing by Hammermsith Bridge will all continue.

The network will also prioritise plans to widen pavements and build temporary cycle lanes, so commuters can avoid public transport while the Covid-19 outbreak continues.

But TfL’s overall investment will be cut this year – despite the fact that national train line upgrades funded by Network Rail are currently increasing.

TfL boss Mike Brown said it was a “massive irony” that London is losing out on cash because of “the different relationship we appear to have with central Government”.

And the Mayor warned cutting capital investment in London transport is a “false economy”.

“The Government should be looking for shovel-ready projects and a stimulus,” Sadiq Khan said.

“I can’t think of a better stimulus than investing in capital in the capital.”

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