Keeping London at the forefront of global business
working with and for the whole UK
Engaging with TfL to meet the challenges ahead
23 September 2020
It was refreshing to meet Andy Byford at the round-table that we hosted with London First earlier this month. Refreshing because of the clarity of message – no one in the (virtual) room could have been in any doubt where the new commissioner’s priorities are.
Making sure that the network is ready and able to get London back to work was front and centre in those priorities. We now know that London’s return to work – and indeed post-Covid normality – will remain uncertain for at least 6 months but it’s re-assuring to know that TfL will be there for the travelling public whatever the need.
The frankness on TfL’s funding position left the room in no doubt about the challenge and what the Commissioner wants to do about it. An aspiration for a longer term, more grown-up settlement is positive. So too is a willingness to embrace a number of mechanisms to attract the investment that TfL needs to remain a world-class transport network for a world class city. Our work with London First on innovative funding solutions for infrastructure shows that this will be central to delivering TfL’s long term ambitions. We also endorse the Commissioner’s view that investment in London remains vital as an integral part of the levelling up agenda.
The laser-focus on taking ownership for and delivering the Elizabeth Line came out clearly. This is good news for the Elizabeth Line itself. It also shows us that we can expect a strong, programmatic approach to TfL’s future capital spend, which can only be a good thing.
Whatever the immediate challenges ahead for TfL, there is a clear vision for the organisation’s future and how it continues to support London’s status as a global city in uncertain times.
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