The boss of Transport for London, Andy Byford, has resigned, after just over two years in the job.
His departure from the £355,000-a-year role of commissioner was announced on Tuesday morning, days after TfL had managed what Byford called its biggest ever challenge – the logistics surrounding the Queen’s funeral.
TfL said Byford was leaving to return to the US, where he previously ran New York’s transport. Andy Lord, TfL’s current chief operating officer, will become commissioner on an interim basis from 25 October.
The decision comes weeks after TfL had secured a longer-term funding settlement from central government to help it manage the loss of revenue from reduced travel after the pandemic.
It meant Byford had largely achieved his two self-declared objectives of opening the Elizabeth line in central London to the deadline and budget he inherited, after Crossrail had been plagued by years of delays, and of putting TfL back on a stable post-pandemic footing .
However, the role has been fraught with political difficulty, with TfL caught in the crossfire between the Conservative government and London mayor, Sadiq Khan, as it sought financial help, and in industrial relations trouble as unions battled enforced cuts. The money from central government was significantly less than TfL argued it needed and Byford has long warned of a future of “managed decline”.
It is the second time in three years that Byford has quit a major role, after stepping down as the boss of New York’s transport authority in 2020.
More details soon…