The Mayor of London says he is “confident” Transport for London (TfL) can get rid of its £1 billion deficit by 2022 despite original promises it would be gone by 2021.

These comments came earlier today during a London Assembly budget and performance committee meeting.

Assembly members met with TfL bosses and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to discuss the Greater London Authority (GLA) budget- which included TfL’s budget.

TfL is current operating on a deficit of nearly £1 billion, which it last year said it could get rid of by 2021.

Now the transport body has pushed the plans back by a year and said it will be free of the deficit in 2022.

Assembly Members raised concerns the transport body might not have closed the deficit by then, given the date had already been pushed back a year.

But Mr Khan defended the transport body, of which he is chairman, and said it would be able to get rid of its deficit by 2022.

He said: “I have already cut the deficit in half as mayor and in my first and second years as mayor I reduced TfL’s operating costs, which other mayors have not done.

“I am confident we can get out of the deficit by 2022/23.”

Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon was worried TfL might not be prepared for any other problems it might encounter.

She said: “What is your ‘plan b’ if TfL’s budget does not go to plan?”

Mr Khan’s chief of staff for the GLA, David Bellamy, reassured the Assembly that TfL had come “a long way” despite concerns about its finances.

Ms Pidgeon also wanted to know about how the delay of the Crossrail project Elizabeth Line extension would affect TfL’s finances.

The Elizabeth Line was originally supposed to open in December 2018 but earlier this year it was revealed the opening would be delayed until autumn 2019 – although no official date has been given.

The GLA has now been given a loan by the Government of £1.3 billion which it will pass on to TfL as a grant in order to complete the project.

At a TfL budget meeting yesterday, it was revealed the GLA applied for the grant rather than TfL directly because the GLA’s credit rating was better than TfL’s.

But Mr Khan assured Assembly Members the GLA could pay back the loan and said it was the option he was “happy with”.