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TfL furloughs 7,000 staff

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Transport for London (TfL) has furloughed 7,000 staff members due the dramatic reduction in passenger numbers caused by the Coronavirus lockdown.

Funding from the Government's Job Retention Scheme is expected to save the organisation an estimated £15.8m every four weeks.

TfL says this will partly reduce the huge financial loss it has encountered, while constructive discussions continue with Government on the wider revenue support that TfL will need to continue the effective operation of London's transport network.

Since London entered lockdown on 23 March, Tube journeys have fallen by 95% and journeys on buses by 85%, as a result.

London’s transport network costs roughly £600m per month to operate and fares contribute around half of TfL’s income.

Mike Brown, London's transport commissioner, said: 'The transport network is crucial in the fight to tackle coronavirus and it will play a similarly vital role in supporting the country's economy as it recovers from the pandemic.

“We have significantly cut our costs over recent years but nevertheless the success of encouraging the vast majority of people to stay at home has seen our main revenue, fares, reduce by 90%.”

Zoe Jankel, vice president - senior analyst at Moody's Investors Service and lead analyst for TFL, said: “Transport for London is highly exposed to the coronavirus crisis, with the majority of its revenue sources significantly decreased or even eliminated over the lockdown period. The staff furlough announced today will help reduce operating costs by an estimated £16 million per month, but that is relatively immaterial, representing less than 3% of monthly operating costs. Central government financial support will be critical to maintaining its credit quality.”

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