TFL external communications

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 11th July 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Boff Andrew Boff Conservative

How many people does TFL employ who work in external communications, marketing, public relations and PR and what was their total salary costs for the previous 5 years broken down by year?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

Transport for London’s (TfL’s) Customer, External Relations and Press Office teams play a crucial role in keeping London moving.

These teams deliver campaigns to increase the use of public transport, walking and cycling and raise revenue. They deliver campaigns to reduce accidents on escalators and platforms, reduce deaths and serious injuries on the roads and to encourage more people to report incidents of inappropriate sexual behaviour. They fulfil TfL’s legal obligation to ensure Londoners can have their say on new Cycleways, road improvements and bus changes, and they work to support local communities – for example the community around the Grenfell Tower following the terrible tragedy there.

These staff engage young people, disabled people and older people in TfL’s decision making, and ensure that the views of businesses, charities, local residents and others are heard and acted upon. They provide signage and other essential customer information, warn customers of disruption and provide them with the real time information needed to navigate the city. They host visits from transport authorities from around the world, helping TfL exchange best practice and helping drive its consultancy business. They raise vital revenue through TfL’s advertising partnerships and through managing the consultation processes needed to enable developments on TfL land.

They also support the requirements of TfL’s political stakeholders, including Assembly Members, and ensure TfL can respond to scrutiny and provide information in a timely way. For example, since 1 May 2018 TfL has received 1595 cases from Assembly Members, their staff and GLA party groups. This in addition to many thousands of correspondence cases from MPs, Ministers, MEPs, Councillors and others.

The number of people deployed across these activities, and their associated staff costs, is at its lowest level on record, and further reductions are underway as part of TfL’s work to reduce back and middle office costs by 30 per cent.

Costs in marketing have decreased significantly in the past ten years and are down 66% since 2007/08. This contributed to TFL’s wider work to reduce operating costs, with the operating deficit nearly halved from its budgeted level at the end of 2018/19.

Please see tables below showing the relevant TfL employees and staff costs for the previous five years below.


14/15 FTE

15/16 FTE

16/17 FTE

17/18 FTE

18/19 FTE

Customer and Revenue*






Press Office






Public Affairs & External Relations






Local Communities and Partnerships**













14/15 Staff Costs

15/16 Staff Costs

16/17 Staff Costs

17/18 Staff Costs

18/19 Staff Costs

Customer and Revenue






Press Office






Public Affairs & External Relations






Behaviour Change, embedded External Relations teams and other transfers





Local Communities and Partnerships








* There has been a rise in Customer staff numbers over the past five years due to internal reorganisation which has consolidated teams into one function and integrated some of TfL’s commercial revenue functions into this area.

** The Local Communities and Partnerships team was established in December 2017, bringing together employees from Behaviour Change, embedded External Relations teams and other transfers