TfL forecasts its first budget surplus

16 Mar 18

Transport for London expects to make its first operating surplus by 2021-22, its draft budget for 2018-19 has forecast.

The draft covers the first year of its five-year business plan, including what it said would be record investment in public transport, safety, walking, cycling and reducing pollution.

TfL is responsible to mayor Sadiq Khan for London’s buses, underground, overground, streets and traffic.

It faces an average £700m a year reduction in funding from the government over the plan period but said it had made significant savings through reducing management layers, merging functions, renegotiating contracts and efficiencies. 

Like-for-like costs are expected to be lower than last year, and total operating costs £200m better than the 2017-18 budget, which TfL said would more than offset the impact of an unexpected dip in fare income.

TfL is anticipating that passenger journeys will be broadly flat compared with the numbers set out in its business plan. 

London’s transport commissioner Mike Brown said: “We will continue with our massive programme of investment in the transport network, modernising and boosting capacity, delivering healthier safer streets and providing affordable and accessible transport that will support London’s economic growth.  

“This will be achieved alongside our extensive savings programme which is reducing our day to day costs, while protecting frontline services [and] will put us well on the way to generating an operating surplus for the first time in our history in 2021-22.” 

TfL’s major projects included completion of the Crossrail line - which allows trains to run east-west below central London - providing step-free access at more stations and further modernisation of the underground system.

It will continue to sell surplus land, with a target that this will accommodate some 3,000 homes, half of them affordable.  

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