November 28, 2022

The head of Transport for London, Andy Byford, has resigned after just over two years in the job.

His departure from the £355,000-a-year commissioner role was announced on Tuesday morning, days after TfL handled what Byford described as his biggest challenge ever – the logistics around the Queen’s funeral.

TfL said Byford was leaving to return to the United States, where he previously ran transportation in New York. Andy Lord, the current chief operating officer of TfL, will become an interim commissioner starting October 25.

The decision comes weeks after Transport for London secured a long-term funding settlement from the central government to help it manage revenue loss from reduced travel after the pandemic.

This meant that Byford had largely achieved his two self-proclaimed goals of opening the Elizabeth Line in central London to the deadline and budget it inherited, after Crossrail had been plagued by years of delays, and putting TfL back on a stable footing after the pandemic.

However, the role was fraught with political difficulties, with Transport for London caught up in a crossfire between the Conservative government and Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, as it sought financial aid, and in industrial relations turmoil as unions battled forced cuts. The money from the central government was far less than TfL argued it needed, and Byford has long warned of a future of “orderly deterioration”.

This is the second time in three years that Byford has relinquished a major role, after stepping down as New York Transportation Authority chief in 2020.

More details soon…

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