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Mayor of London says TfL needs urgent financial aid to continue operating

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has told the BBC that Transport for London (TfL) faces not being able to pay staff and must consider more cuts to services if the Government doesn't step in with financial support before May.

Speaking on BBC Radio London, Khan said TfL has been using cash reserves to keep running as fare revenues have plummeted due to the coronavirus lockdown.

The Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed it was already in negotiations on an aid package with TfL since at least April 7, as confirmed by Chris Heaton-Harris, Minister of State, DfT during a House of Commons Transport Committee meeting the same day.

During that meeting earlier this month, Heaton-Harris said TfL road network volume was down 63% and the total number of individuals travelling was down 88% in the capital.

Khan suggested a deal was likely but it needed to happen in the next week.

Khan told BBC Radio London: 'TfL is like many businesses in London. We rely upon our fares income to pay for things, whether its services or investing in capital. 

'The Government has cut our operating grant, so without fares we can't do stuff. And so we have our cash reserves which we're eating into.

'Frankly speaking, because we've lost 95% of passengers on the Tube, because we've lost 85% of passenger on buses, we are struggling. 

'We are eating into our reserves. So we're in conversation with the Government in relation to supporting us with a grant. Just like the government is supporting businesses with grants."

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