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TfL faces £233M funding gap over next two years


TRANSPORT FOR LONDON (TfL) was this week expected to raise bus fares and force London's boroughs to impose higher council taxes so it can plug a £233M funding gap for next two years A TfL board meeting last week concluded that transport schemes face the axe if budgets are to be met unless more money can be found from London councils and commuters.

'Additional funding from these sources is an option open to the mayor and Greater London Assembly to assist in delivering the plan, ' says a document drafted by the TfL board.

Approval for moves to raise the extra money will need a two thirds majority of the Assembly.

The proposed budget pinpoints schemes that will be sacrificed over the next two years if the £233M shortfall for 20032005 is not met.

Proposals at risk include a £44M cut in a scheme to put conductors on 'doored buses', £22M on bus priority plans, £35M on walking, cycling and town centre initiatives; £5M on developing new Thames road crossings; £10M on road maintenance and £10M on road safety.

Over the five years to 2008 a funding gap of £100M in road maintenance and £150M on an initiative to improve transport policing is identified. A funding gap of over £1.6bn overall is projected in the next five years.

TfL will demand more money from the government ahead of the next spending review, says the document.

'It is assumed that all transport grant in the later years of the plan is subject to review as part of the upcoming government spending review, ' it says.

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