If you are stuck in the taxi queue at Waterloo trying to work out how much the fare home to Exeter will be, you can breathe a sigh of relief. At two minutes to eleven London bus time (so anywhere between ten-past-ten and noon) Transport for London got their bailout funding, it having been extended for another seven weeks to keep the capital's rail, bus and Tube services running until 18 May.
Well, actually that was always going to happen. Kids close to Christmas never learn that their parents will not really cancel the festive season if they refuse to eat their cabbage and, in exactly the same way, London mayor Sadiq Khan has never seemed to get that the Government will not allow all tubes, buses and trains to just stop because TfL have run out of money. Apart from sheer common sense, the evidence for this is strong, as a £1.6 billion bailout was agreed in May 2020, followed by a £1.8 billion deal in November which had been due to expire on 31 March. Now it has been extended again ... and it will be again.
So, in effect, this article is not about news, it is about not understanding the news it is reporting will never happen.
The deal between a seven-year old child and the Department of Transport will ensure that all of London's public transport will be running until at least after May's local elections, at which London mayor Sadiq Khan is hoping to be elected for another term. There is, of course, no connection, but it is a happy coincidence. London transport chiefs have been calling for a long-term funding agreement to help the capital's network recover from the impact of the pandemic. Little Tommy from Humberside has been calling for a full size billiard table for Christmas and there is more of a chance of the latter than the former.
Our friend Sadiq, a massive fan of the NTI newsroom said: "This seven-week extension will enable TfL to carry on running services that are as reliable and frequent as they were before lockdown,"
"Oh no," said the long-suffering people of London, "that's dreadful."