Transport for London (TfL) has used the publication of its draft budget for 2019/20 to reiterate the commitment to Vision Zero and cleaning up the capital’s toxic air.
The draft budget reveals that the operating deficit is forecast to fall from £968 million to £500 million by the end of 2019/19.
It is the result of better financial management and is all the more impressive considering the delays to Crossrail that will have affected revenue streams.
The draft budget will be presented to the TfL board prior to approval, and despite the obvious financial challenges, the Mayor of London is still committed to the safety of vehicles, fleets and people through its Vision Zero commitment.
This will see Sadiq Khan’s vision of eradicating death and serious injury from London’s roads pursued, by implementing major safety and improvement projects.
Fleet vehicles will be redesigned so that they are at optimum safety on the streets of London.
Elsewhere, TfL will move forward with the introduction of its Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London this April.
It has been described as a “major step forward in the battle to clean up London’s toxic air,” and fits in with wider strategies to reduce emissions and pollution from the country’s air; pollution is the fourth biggest threat to public health and is a key contributor to thousands of deaths each year.
The Mayor has asked for the government to provide more investment, so that the capital city gets the funding it requires.
He said: “By making TfL more efficient and almost halving its operating deficit, we are able to continue our vital work to transform the Tube network, take radical action to clean up our toxic air and freeze fares, making transport more affordable for millions of Londoners.
“But there is only so much that TfL can do when its government funding is slashed, it’s locked out of funding for road maintenance and faces no certainty over future government capital investment.
“At the spending review this year, it is vital that the government listens to its own National Infrastructure Commission and ensures that London gets the funding it needs.”