THE Department for Transport has drawn £7 billion from the government’s contingency fund, partly to support train operating companies through the Covid-19 crisis.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said the money will pay for Emergency Measures Arrangements on the railways, which are known to have cost £3.5 billion so far. Funding has also been needed for trams, light rail and buses, as well as the whole Transport for London system, which will be able to draw up to £1.9 billion by October if necessary. Other amounts are being paid for ferry routes and road maintenance.
Mr Shapps added: ’Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £5,253,000,000 and additional capital of £603,000,000 and £1,144,000,000 of cash will be sought in a Main Estimate for the Department for Transport. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £7,000,000,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.’
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said; ‘This should not just be a blank cheque for private transport operators but instead should be linked to taking transport services into public ownership to ensure every penny is spent on protecting safety and the economy alongside strict requirements to protect jobs across the transport sector.’