London transport bosses could ask for bailout as passenger numbers fall with potential £500m in lost income

Transport for London is predicting £500m in lost income because of coronavirus. The number of passengers on the Tube dropped by a fifth last week. Transport bosses say bus passengers are down by 10%.

The fall is partly down to fewer visitors coming to London, fewer passengers on the Piccadilly Line from Heathrow and more Londoners working from home.

The financial impact of coronavirus comes on top of an existing deficit of £200m and a huge loss of income from the delayed Crossrail project.

Crossrail trains at a depot at Old Oak Common

Transport for London and mayor Sadiq Khan are expected to press the government for a financial bailout.

Our best forecast, based on government scenarios, is that the financial impact of the coronavirus could be up to £500m. We manage our finances prudently, and have reduced our deficit hugely in recent years. This means that we can manage the impacts on our passenger numbers and finances that are currently envisaged. But, given the nature of the situation, we will be looking to the Government to provide appropriate financial support.

Simon Kilonback, TfL’s Chief Finance Officer