Resource grant cut means pain for TfL
27 November 2015 | Author: David Leam, Infrastructure Director, London First
This was a spending settlement to which Transport for London acquiesced, rather than agreed. Gain on its capital investment programme was accompanied by short-term pain, through falling resource grants, with battles on spending priorities post-2020 postponed for another day.
Good news came in the form of continued support for TfL's investment programme through to 2020. The £11bn deal will allow TfL to continue to modernise and improve London's Tube, rail and road networks. Pressure now falls on the mayor and mayoral candidates – as well as TfL – to translate this headline deal into a firm delivery programme for the new signalling, trains and station improvements London needs – along with road improvements, too.
Tougher news was the Government's decision to phase out TfL resource grants by 2018/19. This currently represents 6% of TfL's annual budget, so it will require TfL to become both more efficient and more commercial. This could come though TfL making better use of its land and property holdings to support additional housing and retail, but may also require some difficult prioritisation of projects.
Cities across the country will welcome the announcement of a new £300m Transport Development Fund over the next five years, for the next generation of transport infrastructure projects. Crossrail 2 is one prime candidate – but will have to jostle for funds with other potential projects around the country, such as rail schemes across the northern powerhouse.
All eyes now turn to the Budget – and crucially the recommendations due from Lord Adonis and the new National Infrastructure Commission.