Transport for London (TfL) has published its draft five-year business plan covering the period from 2020/21 to 2024/25.
Alongside the Mayor's transport strategy, the draft plan will be considered by TfL’s finance committee this week (18 December). It sets out how transport will support sustainable growth, making the city a safer, greener and better place to live, work and visit, including:
- Five-year plan means continued investment to encourage greater use of public transport, walking and cycling and significantly improving the environment and air quality.
- Firm financial management to keep TfL on track to deliver an operating surplus by 2022/23 with net annual cost of operations reduced by more than £1bn since 2015/16.
- Delay to the opening of the Elizabeth line and a subdued economy means a cautious approach necessary to revenue forecasts.
- Sustained government funding needed to support the safe and reliable operation of the current transport network and to accommodate the city’s growth.
Despite continued uncertainty in the economy, the plan shows very strong progress in reducing the net cost of TfL’s operations. However, Tfl says it is essential for there to be long-term certainty around government investment in existing and new transport assets to ensure that services support the growing city. TfL’s finances continue to be subject to substantial pressures as a result of the average £700m a year reduction in government funding for its day-to-day operations.
Operating income is forecast to be almost £6bn in 2019/20, with passenger numbers expected to reach a record 4.37bn journeys a year by the end of the plan period.
TfL remains on track to generate an operating surplus by 2022/23, meaning that it will cover the cost of financing, maintaining, operating and renewing its transport network. This will help ensure it can manage debt and reduce borrowing levels. Throughout the plan period, significant investment will continue providing better, more frequent and accessible transport options.
TfL will also continue to make the case for future transport infrastructure to support the growth of London and support the wider South East region and the UK overall, such as Crossrail 2 and the Bakerloo line extension.
Following the general election, the mayor and London’s transport commissioner will be writing to the new government to press the need to confirm the steady and sustained funding London needs to the benefit of the UK as a whole.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I am hugely proud of what we have achieved improving transport across London – this is despite the ongoing economic uncertainty and the average reduction of £700m per year in TfL's funding from central government. Alongside our continuing modernisation of the Tube, TfL fares will be frozen again this January, and we continue to take some of the boldest action of any city in the world greening up our transport network and improving air quality across the capital.
“But London also needs a government that recognises the importance of continued investment in new infrastructure for the future of our economy, and it is essential the new government commits to working with us to deliver vital projects such as Crossrail 2 and the Bakerloo Line extension.”