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Transport for London Finances - the end of the line?

Date published: 
14 November 2018


TfL is dealing with financial pressure on numerous fronts: a Crossrail project which is overspent and late, the end of government operating grant, a four-year fares freeze and sluggish passenger growth. However, TfL says it has a plan to turn this around and return to surplus by 2021-22.

One of the key components of the plan was going to be the Elizabeth Line opening in December 2019. We now know that this will not happen. This will cost almost £200 million in lost fares and advertising revenue next year and that is before the capital costs.

TfL still says it will break even by 2021-22, despite the delay to Crossrail. This would be a huge achievement.

Key recommendations

  • Transport for London should publish modelling for a future fares freeze by the end of the 2018-19 financial year.
  • The Mayor should set out his position on ring-fencing any fares increase.
  • The Government should draw up plans to devolve Vehicle Excise Duty revenue to London.
  • In all future Operational and Financial Performance reports, TfL should set out what savings and efficiencies it has made in each business area, what further reductions are planned, and the impact on services. 
  • TfL should make its modelling for passenger demand open to the public on an annual basis.
  • By Summer 2019 TfL should commission and publish market research about new forms of advertising on its network.

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