Over-optimistic TfL in 'a perilous financial situation', committee says


London Assembly members have warned mayor Sadiq Khan that he should publish the cost of a new fare freeze as Transport for London (TfL) faces ‘unprecedented’ financial pressure.

With TfL running a deficit of £1bn for 2018/19, and delays to the Elizabeth line (Crossrail) adding to its problems, the London Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee has released a report into TfL’s finances and how they can be turned around.

The report comes shortly after the transport secretary himself said TfL was in 'deep financial difficulties'.


Committee chairman Gareth Bacon said: ‘The first-term partial fares freeze will end up costing TfL at least £640m; a second-term freeze could be substantially more, and it is simply not sustainable if TfL is to claw its way out of a perilous financial situation.

‘Freezing fares is a political decision that the Mayor can take but Londoners deserves to know exactly how much it will cost.’

He added: ‘TfL needs to have a period of calm in which they make sensible, sure-footed and long sighted financial decisions as part of a concrete plan to get out of the financial doldrums it has found itself in.’

The committee also said the Government should draw up plans to devolve Vehicle Excise Duty revenue to London – a key ask of the mayor and London’s boroughs – and that TfL should commission and publish market research into new forms of advertising on its network, with proposals put out for public consultation.

The report states: ‘Overall, we have concerns about TfL’s optimism. TfL still says it will break even by 2021-22, even with the delay to Crossrail. This would be a huge achievement.’

A TfL spokesperson said the organisation would publish a five-year Business Plan by the end of the year that will describe how it will manage the impact of the delay to the Elizabeth line and welcomed the committee’s call to Government ‘for a sustainable way in which to fund the maintenance of London’s road network’.

The spokesperson said: ‘As the Committee notes, we continue to grip operating costs with more than £500m per annum in savings so far and raising more revenue through our property, advertising and other commercial assets.

‘This strong track record of cost reduction and broadening revenue streams is enabling us to work towards an operating surplus while dealing with the difficult challenges of the withdrawal of £700m per annum in Government operating grant and a subdued economy that has resulted in lower revenues.’


Also see

Register now for full access

Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

comments powered by Disqus
highways jobs

Environmental Health Officer WCC10676

Westminster City Council
£33,759 - £47,274 per annum
As an Environmental Health Officer in Food Safety or Health and Safety, you will be responsible for... London (Greater)
Recuriter: Westminster City Council

Definitive Map Manager

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
This role is based within the Highways Service at Cambridgeshire County Council and provides an unusual and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
A great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Strategic Transport

Cheshire East Council
£64,000 - £75,000 + benefits
We’re committed to “working for a brighter future together” – and we expect you to be too! Cheshire
Recuriter: Cheshire East Council

Regeneration Manager

Mole Valley District Council
£52,895 - £57,143 FTE
This is a great career opportunity to specialise in town centre regeneration and repositioning. Dorking, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Technical Services Officer (Mechanical)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
This is an exciting and challenging time for Kirklees and we want to expand our team to manage and deliver construction... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road and Footway Asset Engineer

Kent County Council
£28,925 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Road and Footway Asset Team as an Asset Engineer. Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Head of Waste

Lincolnshire County Council
£65,651 - £70,725
As Head of Waste, you will be commercially focussed and forward-thinking. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director

Reading Borough Council
Up to £92k
It’s the ideal time to take the lead on our modernisation agenda, and deliver growth in the trading of our front line services. Reading, Berkshire
Recuriter: Reading Borough Council

Assistant Director – Highways

Lincolnshire County Council
£82,264 - £107,878
Come and lead the future agenda for our highways services. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council