TfL bosses have warned that the costs of realising Sadiq Khan’s ambition for 80 percent of all journeys to be taken via sustainable modes of transport by 2041 outstrip the agency’s spending power.
The 80 percent target, set in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, is significantly higher than the current rate of 63 per cent.
A paper to be presented to the Transport for London board next week states: “There has been a 12 per cent mode shift to sustainable modes (from 51 per cent to 63 per cent), since TfL was formed in 2000 and this is significant. However we should not underestimate just how ambitious this further mode shift to 80 per cent is.”
It adds that “at 80 per cent, London would have the highest mode share of any city of comparable land use density.”
TfL is working on a number of schemes aimed at reducing car usage but notes that “in outer London, lack of public transport links, road danger (particularly speed related) and increasing use of vans for home delivery are key issues.”
The unequal distribution of public transport services means TfL will need to develop localised plans to achieve the target but, according to the report, in-house projections suggest it will lack the financial resources to deliver them.
It states: “Delivery of the strategy commenced in TfL’s current Business Plan and this covers the next five years.
“Beyond this our initial estimates are that it will require on average capital investment by TfL and others of around £3.3bn a year over the next two decades.
“This level of capital investment is greater than TfL’s current anticipated income for capital investment and will be a focus for future work.”
The admission is a further example of the funding pressures facing TfL which the Mayor’s team blame on the loss of its central government grants, while political opponents say Mr Khan’s decision to freeze all fares for his entire 4 year term is also to blame.
In addition, the agency is reporting falling passenger numbers and commercial income which was meant to supplement the fares yield is also below target.