TfL’s property plans could place Tube stations at the heart of communities

I’ve penned lots of well deserved criticism of TfL of late, but here’s some equally well-earned praise:

Its ambitious and imaginative plans to increase the amount of money the body raises from commercial activities could see Tube stations become a key and valued part of local communities.

Commercial Development Director Graeme Craig’s focus on TfL’s existing independent retailers offers hope for a welcome alternative to the identikit, big brand high streets.

Outside of stations local shops are squashed by the marketing budgets and loss-leading activities of the major brands, but located in a busy station and supported by a committed landlord they’ll have a better chance of building a profitable and sustainable business.

And the idea of teaming up with online retailers to offer ‘click and collect’ services is a genius move which promises to increase the attractiveness of travelling by Tube for both existing and potential passengers.

But most exciting of all is the prospect of TfL developing its property portfolio in-house, securing a long-term funding stream of commercial and residential rents rather than selling assets off for a quick buck.

If someone is going to make money from a new office or apartment block’s proximity to a publicly funded Tube station, that someone should be the London tax and fare payer.

If this new approach is as successful as we should all hope it is, future Mayors will enjoy a potentially lucrative source of additional funding, free of Government restrictions.

So a big thumbs up, though strictly on the condition that none of the resulting developments are named ‘Ken Livingstone House’ or ‘Boris Johnson Towers’.


  1. Taxpayer says

    Why do they not locate police stations inside the tube stations it would save a fortune.Tube stations are hot spots for crime and police stations are being sold off.Probably too logical.

  2. Robin says

    God idea, instead of anonymous industrial estates. How about transport police Located in disused Shops,as water,electricity are on site already.

  3. says

    Taxpayer – simple answer because with police stations you’d need cells to hold the arrested, in the event of an evacuation due to a fire alert etc they’d need to get them out of the cells and escort them to the Assembly Point to check everyone is out of the station. An excellent opportunity to do a runner if you’ve got more banged up than there are police.

  4. Taxpayer says

    Police stations that serve as counters only do not use the cells area an example Golders Green yet it is on a main street where as Golders Green tube is a known hot spot for crime just does not make sense

  5. Pan says

    Good idea about Police Station – cells are not an issue simply have “normal” police station for holding prisoners as now – having a police station even if its only half a dozen officers is a real bonus if nothing else than “peace of mind” for people

  6. Taxpayer says

    I just think it would provide reassurance and be better value than having police desks miles away on deserted high streets