Delivering the Mayor's manifesto [3]

Session date: 
February 7, 2019
Question By: 
Onkar Sahota
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London) & Mike Brown MVO (Commissioner, Transport for London)


Dr Onkar Sahota AM:  My questions are on the future capital programmes.  TfL has recently categorised its capital projects into critical, central, desirable and deprioritised.  Will you publish a list of the projects so that we know what fits into what category?



Delivering the Mayor's manifesto [3]

Delivering the Mayor's manifesto [3]

Answered By: 
Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London) & Mike Brown MVO (Commissioner, Transport for London)

Sadiq Khan (Chair, Transport for London):  Yes, we will. 


Mike Brown MVO (Commissioner of Transport for London):  We have committed that we will publish those categories in front of the Budget and Performance Committee.  When I appeared in front of them in January [2019], I committed that I will share that information and I am very happy to do so.  It is a new way that we have categorised projects and it helps actually with the openness and transparency of our necessary decision-making on these topics.  I am very happy to do so.


Dr Onkar Sahota AM:  Thank you for that, Commissioner.  It looks like you are going to fund TfL capital projects from the operating surplus from 2021/22.  Is this how you see capital projects being funded in the long term and what other options are available to TfL?



Mike Brown MVO (Commissioner of Transport for London):  The Mayor may wish to comment on this.  One of the challenges and one of the ongoing discussions we have with the Government is about the level of fiscal devolution that applies to London.  London, amongst world cities, has the lowest level of fiscal devolution compared to any other world city.  It is a very centralised, controlled economy that we operate in and I know the Mayor is very keen, as am I, to ensure that there is proper fiscal devolution.  For example, the business rate supplements are used to be able to contribute to the capital spend going forward.


It is true that we will end up with an operating surplus across the TfL in the years that you communicated.  It is also worth just at this point putting on record the fact that if you exclude the operating subsidy that we had historically had from the Government to an average of £700 million a year, under the Mayor’s leadership, the organisation is twice as efficient as it was in terms of cost than it was four years ago.  That is a really significant improvement that we have made.


However, the discussion with the Government has to be ongoing to ensure some of these critical strategic long-term projects are delivered.


Dr Onkar Sahota AM:  Great.  Of course, Mr Mayor, TfL says that it is going to be making a case to the central Government for funding important long-term schemes such as the Piccadilly line, maybe Crossrail and also the Bakerloo line extension.  When do you expect the Government to decide what projects it is going to be funding and helping out with?  What else can the Government give us, more than just money?  It is about a commitment on the long-term funding of major projects.


Sadiq Khan (Chair, Transport for London):  As part of our submission to the Government for the spending review we will be making a submission asking for more fiscal devolution, as the Commissioner has alluded to.  If you look at Crossrail 1, it is a good example of using the business rates supplement and the Mayor’s Community Infrastructure Levy to help with some of the cost of Crossrail 1.  Look at the Northern line extension with quite an innovative way to fund some of that extension.  We will be lobbying the Government for more fiscal devolution.  That is really very important.  Also, business rates, grants and the surplus are also good avenues.  The Government is promising a ‘Brexit bounce’ and is promising huge sums of money to be invested across the country as austerity is now over and we will have this ‘Brexit bounce’.  Clearly, London can expect to receive a huge boon when the Government keeps its promise to have the bounce after Brexit.