Tube stations could be renamed by private companies under sponsorship plans announced by London’s Conservative mayoral candidate.

Shaun Bailey told The Sunday Telegraph his plans could raise £500 million for the city’s public transport network over the next five years.

Inspired by a similar scheme on the Dubai metro, Mr Bailey would allow companies to bid for entire lines or individual Tube stops.

Stations could be renamed based on nearby brands, with flagship stores on Regent Street renaming Oxford Circus, or high end shops in Kensington putting a twist on Knightsbridge.

The proposal comes as TfL bosses are locked in talks with ministers over a second bailout for the network and Covid-19 continues to hammer passenger numbers.

With half of all income from ticket sales, and advertising revenue on the network down 90 per cent between April and June, TfL has already had an emergency £1.6 billion cash injection from Government.

“Dubai makes £419 million through sponsorship – and Dubai’s entire Metro is barely the size of the District Line,” Mr Bailey told the Telegraph.

“With TfL’s funding in crisis, we need ideas like this. We’ve done it before, with Barclays and Santander sponsoring our bike hire scheme.

“This proposal will make sure TfL is fully funded and can provide the service we love for generations to come.”

The scheme would not be entirely without precedent in London – the transport authority renamed Surrey Docks station Surrey Quays in 1989, after the shopping centre there.

TfL also changes station names under promotional deals – Piccadilly Circus became Picardilly Circus for two days to mark the launch of Amazon Prime’s new Star Trek series in January.

Southgate station was rebranded Gareth Southgate to celebrate the England football manager after his squad finished fourth in the World Cup in 2018.

And as well as banks funding the network’s bike hire scheme, Google has sponsored the contactless readers at stations and on buses.

But Labour rubbished Mr Bailey’s plans, suggesting the income from sponsorship would be inconsequential.

“Shaun Bailey may not be aware, but it costs £600 million a month to run the London transport network,” a spokesperson said.

“The Tory Mayoral candidate should be lobbying his own Government to give TfL the long-term funding support it needs – and that it has given to rail companies across the country with no strings attached.”