A London COVID-19 task force, comprising representatives of the Government and TfL, has been established to oversee operational decisions during the crisis.
The task force has been set up as part of a new £1.6bn Government funding package, designed to help TfL protect key services and support the Capital’s gradual recovery from COVID-19.
The collective focus will be on taking all practicable steps to increase the number of services as quickly as possible to benefit passengers who have no alternative to public transport.
In order to safeguard services in the future, the package will see the reintroduction of fares on buses and reinstatement of the congestion charge.
It will also focus on promoting traffic management and active travel to maximise the benefits of the Government’s £2bn investment in cycling and walking.
This will include efforts to push forward new segregated cycle lanes, pavement extension and road closures to traffic, making it easier for people to choose greener ways to travel.
TfL says Government support will help it continue to get Londoners moving and working ‘safely and sustainably’.
Mike Brown MVO, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “London’s transport network is absolutely fundamental to the economic, social and environmental health of the Capital.
“Throughout the pandemic, transport workers have played a heroic role in the response to the virus -ensuring NHS and care staff have been able to get to work and save lives.
“We have worked closely with the Government and mayor as part of the national effort to fight the virus, rapidly reducing passenger numbers to levels not seen for 100 years. This has meant that our fare and other revenue has fallen by 90%.
“We now need to help London recover as restrictions on movement are gradually eased, with public health and more active forms of travel at the forefront of our thinking.”
Grant Shapps, transport secretary, said: “People should avoid using public transport and work from home wherever possible, but as measures are slowly lifted it is vital that Londoners who need to use TfL services feel safe and secure.
“We must drive an increase in services to support social distancing and ensure our Capital keeps moving, driving the economic recovery of this country going forward.
“This deal will encourage a real move towards greener and healthier walking and cycling options, ease pressure on our public transport and provide certainty and stability for London’s transport services in the future.”
18 May 2020