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Transport for London 'needs more Government cash' for Crossrail 2

By Adam Toms Senior People and Politics Reporter

MyLondon original article

09:53, 23 MAR 2023

The authority can once again operate in surplus after the pandemic, but more money is needed to deliver future projects

All of the new DLR stock will be operating by 2026, but more funding is needed to finance the network's planned extension to Thamesmead (Image: TfL)

Transport for London (TfL) has said that more money from the Government is needed if planned upgrades and new rail lines are to go ahead. The authority’s annual budget for 2023/24 shows that the “decimating” effect on its finances appears to be over, but nevertheless “longer-term funding” for 2024/25 capital investments, including network extensions - such as DLR extension to Thamesmead and the Bakerloo line extension - Crossrail 2, new rolling stock and signalling programmes, is needed to make sure these projects can progress.

Much of this planned work was put on hold during the pandemic, but a spokesperson for TfL and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, says both are “keen for the Government to support development work carried out by Transport for London and partners on the DLR extension to Thamesmead, and to re-start its joint work on the Bakerloo line extension and Crossrail 2.”

They added: “Restarting this work would provide a further vote of confidence and ensure that these critical projects can progress within the next decade, enabling hundreds of thousands of new homes and substantial economic opportunity across London and the wider UK.

TfL Commissioner Andy Lord and London Mayor Sadiq Khan (Image: Photo by Isabel Infantes/Getty Images)

"The Mayor and TfL call on the Government to ensure there is agreed longer-term funding for capital investments from 2024/25, which is essential to support longer term investments, particularly for new rolling stock, signalling programmes and network extensions."

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “We have worked incredibly hard and shown real determination to bounce back financially after an incredibly tough few years for TfL due to the impact of the pandemic. Key improvements to the transport network, like the delivery of the transformational Elizabeth line, have helped ridership climb back up towards pre-pandemic levels, further boosting London’s economy. Future improvements, including brand new DLR trains, bus services and updates to the Piccadilly line will make our transport network even better.

“Before the pandemic, prudent financial management had placed TfL on the cusp of breaking even for the first time in its history. Now, after a very difficult few years due to the pandemic, we are set to deliver a surplus for the first time ever. However, the hard work is not over and we will work with the Government to ensure we get the national investment we need to continue delivering a world-class transport network for our city – something that is so crucial to building a greener, fairer and more prosperous London for everyone.”

London’s Transport Commissioner, Andy Lord said: “I’m immensely proud of the hard work that everyone at TfL has contributed to get us to this significant point in our financial recovery. Operational self-sufficiency means we can run a safe, affordable and reliable network for all, while delivering real and vital improvements for the city as part of our vision to be the strong, green heartbeat of London.

"But it is absolutely vital that we do not let up and continue to invest in key capital improvements - including replacing trains from the early 1970s that are the oldest currently in service in the country - which can provide future capacity and economic growth, benefiting London and the firms round the country that make up TfL's supply chain. With continued Government capital investment from April 2024 we can continue to support the whole city, and make it an even better, greener, safer and more successful place.

“Our work on delivering the Elizabeth line, the Overground extension to Barking Riverside and the extension of the Northern line to Battersea have all shown the power of transport investment both to London and the wider UK supply chain. With clarity on future funding and engaging with us on plans for future network extensions now, we can unite with businesses across the country and ensure we can support growth in the UK economy both now and in the coming decades.”

This comes after Mr Lord informed the London Assembly’s transport committee earlier this week that "heavy" maintenance works on the London Underground have been delayed to save £1.1 billion since 2019 as part of funding deals agreed with the Government. This is even before the difficulties presented by the Covid pandemic.

He added that current projects to renew Tube stock such as those on the Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines could be put at risk if long-term capital funding is not provided by the Government. He said: “But going forward this is why it’s so important that we do receive a long-term capital investment for the future. We need that for the new fleets, the Piccadilly line as you know, the trains are in production but we need the capital next year to continue the programme.

“And obviously we want to get the funding for replacement fleets on the Bakerloo line and the Central line. If you take the Bakerloo line as an example, those trains are also going through a maintenance period, they’re having the accessibility modifications being done to them as well. Those trains were put in service in 1972, and our team’s doing an incredible job maintaining them safely and reliably.”


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