Transport for London boss Andy Byford has quit after just over two years in the job.
On Tuesday morning, TfL successfully tackled what Byford called its biggest challenge – around the logistics of the Queen’s funeral – by announcing on Tuesday morning that he would be stepping down from his £355,000-a-year commissioner role.
Transport for London said Byford was leaving to return to the United States, where he had previously been in charge of New York traffic. TfL’s current chief operating officer, Andy Lord, will serve as commissioner on an interim basis from 25 October.
The decision comes weeks after Transport for London secured a long-term funding solution from the central government to help it deal with the loss of revenue from reduced travel following the pandemic.
It means Byford has largely achieved two of his self-announced goals of opening the Elizabeth Line in central London ahead of the deadline and budget he inherited, after Crossrail was plagued by years of delays, and letting Transport for London is back on its feet after the pandemic.
However, the role has been fraught with political difficulties, with Transport for London caught in a firefight between the Conservative government and London Mayor Sadiq Khan when it sought financial help, and industrial relations issues as unions battle forced spending cuts. Funding from central government is well below what TfL thinks is needed, and Byford has long warned of a “managed recession” ahead.
This is Byford’s second resignation from a major role in three years after stepping down as New York Transit Commissioner in 2020.
More details soon…