Does private sponsorship improve public transport?

23 June 2014

Does private sponsorship of public transport schemes work for travellers and deliver value for money to the taxpayer?

The Budget & Performance Committee will begin its investigation [1] into the value for money of sponsored transport schemes tomorrow as it examines what lessons may be learnt from projects like the Barclay’s Cycle Hire scheme and the Emirates Air Line.

The Committee will look at:

  • How much the schemes cost Londoners compared to the original forecasts.
  • What role has sponsorship played in making these schemes financially viable.
  • How Transport for London (TfL) can maximise sponsorship for similar schemes in the future.
  • TfL’s current plans for the existing schemes, and how these are expected to affect usage, income and profitability.

Chair of the Budget & Performance Committee, John Biggs AM said:

“At a time of ever shrinking public sector budgets Transport for London is right to look for alternative and novel forms of funding public transport improvements.

“But the lure of sponsorship cash must not warp public transport priorities and TfL must ensure they achieve a credible price for the taxpayer in exchange for these unique marketing opportunities.

“Our investigation will look at how future projects can make the best use of sponsorship to keep London moving.”

The following guests will be questioned at the meeting:

  • Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor for Transport
  • Professor David Metz, Centre for Transport Studies, University College London
  • Graeme Craig, Commercial Director, TfL
  • Richard de Cani, Director of Strategy and Policy, TfL
  • Garrett Emmerson, Chief Operating Officer, Surface Transport, TfL
  • Danny Price, Head of Emirates Air Line, TfL

The meeting will take place on Wednesday, 25 June from 2pm in The Chamber at City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA). Media and members of the public are invited to attend. The meeting can also be viewed via webcast.


Notes to editors

  1. Further information about the investigation
  2. John Biggs AM, Chair of the Budget & Performance Committee is available for interview – see contact details below.
  3. Full agenda papers
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and balance on the Mayor