Before COVID-19[feminine[feminine, London’s underground network has traditionally been free from 11:45 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. since 2000.
However, TfL announced that due to the “catastrophic impact of the pandemic” on the finances of the network, those who wish to celebrate the New Year in the Capital will have to pay as they did in 2020.
Last year’s celebrations were curtailed due to the pandemic, and this year a paid event in Trafalgar Square will replace the annual fireworks display that takes place over the River Thames.
Live updates on COVID-19 from UK and around the world
Reacting to the announcement, the Labor mayor of London Sadiq Khan called on the government to “step up” and provide more funds for TfL.
The current government bailout deal expires on December 11 and TfL is asking £ 500million to maintain services until April, plus £ 1.2 billion over the next two years for maintenance.
Mr Khan posted on social media: “I wish I could offer free travel on NYE, but the reality is COVID has decimated TfL’s finances.
“The government needs to step up its efforts and provide the additional funding that TfL needs since the drop in tariff revenues. Choosing not to do so would be catastrophic for London. “
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London added: “This year TfL is unable to offer free travel on New Years Eve due to the devastating impact of the pandemic on its finances.
“However, services on the network will run through the night, ensuring that everyone can take advantage of what London has to offer and move around the city easily and safely. “
Free travel can usually be set up with the help of funding from a sponsor.
The mayor recently warned that an entire metro line could close if more funding is not provided by the central government.
Mr Khan said the lack of funds could lead to a “managed decline” in services, and that the closure of one of London’s 11 Underground lines could be a “possibility” without further financial support.
The government paid almost £ 4bn to keep TfL services running during the coronavirus pandemic.