The Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance, today called on the Government to provide a long-term funding deal for Transport for London (TfL) to help protect jobs and contracts across the country.
Visiting TfL suppliers in Derby, the Deputy Mayor reiterated how thousands of jobs around the UK linked to major transport projects in London could be at risk if TfL does not receive long term funding.
The Deputy Mayor travelled to Derby to see the purpose-built Alstom train factory where the Class 345 trains running on the new Elizabeth line were built. Employing 6,000 people across the UK and Ireland, Alstom design and build trains at Derby, the UK’s largest train factory. Alstom is one of TfL’s leading suppliers, having also built the new Tube trains on the Circle and District line, as well as the new trains on the London Overground. TfL’s contract with Alstom to build the Elizabeth line trains supported 760 UK manufacturing jobs and 80 apprenticeships.
In Derby, Seb also visited Tidyco, an SME with around 70 employees, which is a supplier of hydraulic and pneumatic products to the UK rail industry. Tidyco is key supplier of Tube train parts to TfL, with TfL’s million-pound contracts making it a key driver in the business’ success. This is a prime example of how TfL’s supply chain stretches around the country, creating jobs, capacity and certainty for both small and large manufacturing businesses.
TfL contracts support tens of thousands of jobs outside London and contribute around £7bn to the UK economy, with 55 pence of every pound spent on London Underground investment going outside of London – indicating how essential sustained funding for TfL is to the wider UK economy.
London’s transport network has seen exciting additions and modernisation this year with both the opening of the Elizabeth line and the re-opening of the Bank branch of the Northern line, and the new southbound Northern line platform and concourse at Bank station.
The Mayor has ambitions to rapidly expand the order book to suppliers across the country, such as ordering new trains and parts that will be built outside of London for Crossrail 2 and the Bakerloo line extension, and new trains for the Piccadilly, Central and Bakerloo lines, which would create more highly skilled manufacturing jobs. But to continue projects like this, TfL needs a sustainable long-term capital funding deal from government.
Before the Coronavirus pandemic, TfL significantly improved its financial resilience. Due to TfL’s reliance on passenger fares for the majority of its income, the effect of the pandemic on its finances has been devastating, requiring Government support to keep public transport in London operating.
TfL’s current short-term funding deal expires on the 24th of June. Without a long-term capital deal by this date, TfL will be forced to start work on enacting its managed decline scenario. That would mean an additional 80 bus routes cut (an overall 18 per cent reduction), and a nine per cent reduction in tube services, equivalent to closing an entire line.
In Derby today, Seb highlighted that TfL contracts provide ongoing work for this important East Midlands manufacturing base, and that funding uncertainty puts jobs and future contracts at risk.
The Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance, said, “Visiting the factory where the state-of-the-art Elizabeth line trains were built, and local companies where TfL contracts create hundreds of jobs, I’ve seen first-hand how strong London’s relationship with our regional suppliers is. This highlights once again how investment in TfL is vital to jobs and a UK wide recovery.
“Major infrastructure projects such as the new Elizabeth line are not just for London – they play an important part in powering the national recovery from the pandemic. Crossrail has already supported tens of thousands of jobs across the country, with more than 60 per cent of contracts for the project awarded to firms outside London and it is estimated that it will add up to £42 billion to the UK economy. This is levelling up in action – an investment that supports employment, growth and supply chains nationwide.
“This is why I am asking the Government to urgently work with us to agree a fair, long-term funding deal that will protect London’s transport network and its economic wellbeing, and that of the whole country.”