Transport for London (TfL) has published its draft budget for 2018/19, which describes the wide range of transportation improvements that will be delivered for the UK capital in the first year of its latest five-year Business Plan.
The Business Plan, published in December last year, set out a fully funded plan for delivering the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, including investing record amounts in public transport and prioritizing safer and less polluted streets, with an unprecedented focus on walking and cycling over the next five years. The new 2018/19 budget details how TfL will work to achieve the first year of that plan, which will help it to manage an average £700m (US$972m) per year reduction in government funding. In the last financial year, the day-to-day costs of running London’s transportation network were reduced by £153m (US$212m) – the first such reduction in TfL’s history.
TfL expects this trend to continue, with like-for-like costs to be lower than last year, and total operating costs £200m (US$278m) better than the 2017/18 budget. The new budget for 2018/19 details how TfL aims to achieve an operating surplus for the first time by 2021/22. With the removal of its government grant, this will be the first year that TfL has had to address the critical and unique demands of London’s road network, including congestion, maintenance, renewals, and air quality, without support from central funds.
TfL will deliver a huge range of improvements for Londoners in 2018/19, including:
Creating the greenest bus fleet in the world, with more than 1,000 diesel vehicles retrofitted with selective catalytic converters, and over half the diesel bus fleet compliant with the Euro Vi engine emission standard by the end of 2018/19; Ensuring all buses in central London meet ULEZ (Ultra-Low Emission Zone) standards and support the four further Low Emission Bus Zone routes that will be introduced at some of the worst pollution hotspots in the city; Delivering the Healthy Streets Approach across London, with the start of more than 25 local schemes and the first seven Liveable Neighborhoods projects, which will transform the way local streets work to enable people to walk, cycle or take public transport more, and use private cars less; Continued modernization of London Underground to provide increased capacity and more frequent services; Further investment to increase capacity on the capital’s rail network.
“This budget sets out what we will deliver in the next year as part of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy as we work to achieve his vision for 80% of journeys to be made by walking, cycling, and public transport by 2041,” explained London’s Transport Commissioner, Mike Brown. “We will continue with our massive program of investment in the transportation network, modernizing and boosting capacity, delivering healthier safer streets, and providing affordable and accessible transport that will support London’s economic growth.”