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March 13 2018

TfL’s draft budget for 2018/19
‘shows good progress’

Transport for London (TfL) published its draft budget for 2018/19 on Monday (12 March), which describes the transport improvements that will be delivered for London in the first year of its latest five-year Business Plan, and shows good progress towards achieving an operating surplus by 2021/22.

The 2018/19 budget details how TfL will continue to modernise transport services and deliver further recurrent savings, which will help it to manage an average £700m per year reduction in Government funding. Full detail can be found at:

The Business Plan, published in December last year, set out a fully funded plan for delivering the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, including investing record amounts in public transport and prioritising safer and less polluted streets, with an unprecedented focus on walking and cycling over the next five years.

Significant savings have already been achieved through reducing management layers, merging functions, renegotiating contracts and delivering transport improvements more efficiently. In the last financial year the day to day costs of running London’s transport network were reduced by £153m, the first such reduction in TfL’s history.  

TfL expects this trend to continue, with like-for-like costs to be lower than last year, and total operating costs £200m better than the 2017/18 budget. This more than offsets the impact of external factors that have meant income has been lower than originally forecast.  The budget for 2018/19 details how TfL will continue on that trajectory to achieve an operating surplus for the first time by 2021/22.     

With the removal of the Government grant, this will be the first year that TfL has had to address the critical and unique demands of London’s road network, including congestion, maintenance, renewals and air quality, without support from the Government. 

TfL will deliver a huge range of improvements for Londoners in 2018/19. These include:

  • The successful delivery of the Elizabeth line from December 2018, which will re-define travel in London, delivering an additional 10 per cent rail capacity in Central London. The new rail line, which is now more than 90 per cent complete, will be accessible with step-free access at every station in December 2019. 
  • Creating a more accessible transport network for all Londoners.  All of the new Elizabeth line trains that open this year will be step-free. TfL will also this year provide step-free access at Finsbury Park, Buckhurst Hill, Newbury Park, South Woodford and Victoria stations and start work on a further 13.  TfL will also introduce a new turn up and go app for staff across the Tube network, to better manage and track requests for customer assistance.   
  • Continued modernisation of London Underground to provide increased capacity and more frequent services. The first section of the Circle, district, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines' new signalling will go live later this year that, when complete, will provide 32 trains per hour in Central London; a 33 per cent increase in peak-hour capacity. Work will also begin on providing new trains on the Piccadilly line with the contract for the new fleet being awarded in the summer.  Together with the new automatic signalling on the line, this will provide 60 per cent extra capacity by 2026.
  • Creating the greenest bus fleet in the world.  More than 1,000 diesel vehicles will be retrofitted with Selective Catalytic Converters, with over half the diesel bus fleet compliant with the Euro Vi engine emission standard by the end of 2018/19.  This will ensure all buses in central London meet ULEZ standards and support the four further Low Emission Bus Zone routes that will be introduced at some of the worst pollution hotspots in the Capital. 
  • Continued investment to increase capacity on the rail network, with a full upgrade of White Hart Lane station to serve Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium and support regeneration in the local area.  Work on the extension of Overground services to Barking Riverside has begun, which will boost capacity and supporting the development of large swathes of London.  New four-car electric trains will be introduced on the London Overground Gospel Oak to Barking, boosting capacity and contributing to improved air quality.
  • Delivering the Healthy Streets Approach across London, with the start of more than 25 Healthy Streets local schemes and the first seven Liveable Neighbourhoods projects, which will transform the way local streets work to enable people to walk, cycle or take public transport more, and use private cars less.  A number of major schemes, including Highbury Corner and Old Street roundabout will begin, and plans agreed for new Cycle Superhighways. There will also be a second consultation on the new dedicated cycling and pedestrian crossing from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf.
  • There will be sustained and record investment in transport improvements across London’s boroughs - the most significant example of this being the proposed transformation of Oxford Street and the surrounding area which, subject to a final decision, could begin in the summer.
  • The development of TfL land for housing and commercial space to help fund transport improvements will continue at pace which will deliver more than 3,000 homes, 50 per cent of which will be affordable.  TfL will also introduce 4G to the Tube and the Elizabeth line – removing one of the UK’s largest ‘not-spots’ for connectivity.

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