TfL expects operating surplus in 2023-24

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New bus countdown boards have been installed within bus stop flags on route 63. TfL

Transport for London’s latest budget shows that it expects to achieve an operating surplus in 2023/24, with revenues covering the costs of the existing transport network and providing it with some much-needed financial sustainability. Across the next financial year, Transport for London (TfL) expects to achieve £9.1bn in revenue, which it predicts will cover its expected £7.9bn operating costs, £745m in capital renewals and £417m in net interest costs that it will accrue. The operator expects to achieve an overall operating surplus of £79m, which it says will then be reinvested directly into enhancements across the transport network as part of its wider £2bn capital programme, with any Government funding in 2023/24 allocated to fund capital investments across the network. The budget also outlines how with continued Government support for capital improvements, TfL believes a wide range of schemes benefitting the whole of London can be delivered in the coming years.

Since 2016, TfL has saved £1.1 billion from its annual operating costs, and is currently working on the delivery of £600m in further savings commitments as set out in its Business Plan. It reports that ridership on its bus, Tube and rail network continues to grow, with more than 3 million Tube journeys and around 5 million bus journeys made on weekdays, whilst numbers at weekends are now at or exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Despite a high level of uncertainty about future ridership levels, TfL’s latest assessment assumes that, by the end of 2023/24, passenger numbers on TfL services will have grown by a further 7%.

During 2023/24, the TfL budget will ensure the delivery of a number of schemes, including the promised improvments to the bus network in outer London with more than one million extra kilometres of bus services through new and extended bus routes in Sutton, Croydon, Havering and Brent, as well as converting more of London’s buses to zero-emission. TfL’s 2023/24 budget has been developed on the assumption that the current funding agreement with the Government, which lasts until April 2024, remains in place and is fully honoured.