London says: We'll need £2.8 billion more money for TFL next year

FILE PHOTO: Heidi Alexander, Britain's opposition Labour Party Shadow Health Secretary delivers her keynote speech at the Labour Party conference at Brighton, Britain, September 30, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - London said on Wednesday it would need up to 2.8 billion pounds more support from the British government for its transport system in the next financial year to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the next financial year, we are still going to need considerable government support to cope with the impact of the pandemic,” Deputy Mayor Heidi Alexander told Reuters.

London received 2.4 billion pounds in government support this year, but thinks it will need another 2.9 billion pounds in 2021, Alexander said.

“If we had more autonomy over the taxes raised in our city we could decide where that is spent, and I’d be accountable,” Mayor Sadiq Khan said.

Asked about raising council tax, Khan said it was one of the options to help ease the funding crunch.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, himself a former mayor, said last month that Khan had bankrupted the capital’s transport system.

Reporting by Axel Threlfall and Guy Faulconbridge, Editing by Paul Sandle