Financial Crisis at TfL

Steve Speakers Corner
5 min readNov 3, 2020

Despite the Government’s £1.8 billion bail out of Transport for London, TfL’s financial crisis continues. The deal between TfL and the Department for Transport specifically states that TfL must “reach a financially sustainable position as soon as possible”. Crucially it specifies that position will not include money from central government and TfL must therefore find both “potential new sources of income” and significant efficiencies.

As with any service organisation, one of TfL’s most significant costs is that of its staff. Its staffing related costs must without doubt therefore be a significant source of savings for the organisation in these challenging times.

So let’s first look at its total remuneration costs. These, including pension charges (and excluding agency) in 2019/20 were a whopping £2,172 billion. For its 25,814 employees, this equates to an average per employee cost of a staggering £84,175 each per annum. In addition, a total of 1,789 full time equivalent (FTE) of agency staff were also used.

Moving to the number of staff TfL employs. It’s no surprise that it’s been getting bigger! Total headcount including agency staff increased by 323 FTE, from 27,280 on 31 March 2019 to 27,603 on 31 March 2020.

It states in its annual report that its general pay policy is “to provide remuneration that attracts, retains and motivates individuals of the right calibre” and that “Remuneration packages reflect responsibilities, experience, performance and the market from which we recruit”.

In 2019/20, a staggering 308 TfL people earned a base salary of £80,000 or more a year. Of these, 178 people earned a base salary of £100,000 or more a year and 39 people were paid £200,000 or more a year. An additional 131 people earned enough overtime to take their total pay over £100,000 for the year and 82 people who were on a base salary of less than £100,000 per year received a severance package that took their total remuneration above £100,000. Meaning a grand total of 521 people received £100,000 or more in total from TfL during 2019/20.

521 people received £100,000 or more during 2019/20

TfL’s infamous Tube drivers currently earn an annual base salary of £55,000. This compares to a typical base salary for a…

Steve Speakers Corner

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