Between May 2016 and the onset of the COVID pandemic in March 2020, Transport for London (TfL) made significant progress in improving its financial resilience. The Assembly Member will recall that, in 2015, the previous Mayor and the then Chancellor of the Exchequer agreed to phase out the Government operating grant for TfL – worth hundreds of millions of pounds annually.
Since then, the Government has repeatedly failed to provide TfL with the certainty of long-term funding needed to enter into commitments to invest in major capacity uplifts programmes and improved services.
With the limited resources available to TfL, I am pleased that development has continued on the Four Lines Modernisation project, the Jubilee line upgrades, the Northern Line Extension, the procurement of new DLR trains, the design of new Piccadilly line trains, and the delivery of the Barking Riverside Extension.
The simple fact is that without sustainable long term funding TfL will have no choice but to make difficult decisions around deferring or cancelling projects to improve services and boost capacity. TfL’s inability to further invest in substantial, vital upgrades is the result of underinvestment by central Government.