Crossrail 2 and Bakerloo extention cannot proceed under DfT funding deal, says outgoing commissioner

Transport for London has confirmed the appointment of Crossrail’s finance boss to its senior team as it continues to re-jig its leadership in the wake of commissioner Andy Byford’s departure. 

The transport body announced on Friday that Rachel McLean, currently chief financial officer for Crossrail and finance director for operations at TfL, would become the latter’s managing chief finance officer on a permanent basis. 

TfL Image - Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Transport Commissioner Andy Byford with Hampden Gurney, Church of England Primary School Choir

Source: TfL

Outgoing TfL commissioner Andy Byford with mayor Sadiq Khan at the launch of the Elizabeth Line earlier this year

It was also announced that Glynn Barton, currently director of network management and resilience, would take over as chief operating officer on an interim basis after the current position holder, Andy Lord, was asked to step into Byford’s shoes as commissioner, also on an interim basis. 

Byford, who oversaw the delivery of the Elizabeth line, will step down later this month to return to the US with his family, having recently helped TfL strike a new funding deal with the department of transport

The deal secures funds for the organisation until 31 March 2024, including £3.6bn for ongoing capital investments such as the Piccadilly Line upgrade, the Elizabeth Line and the Silvertown Tunnel. 

But in his final meeting with the Greater London Authority, Byford told the transport committee that the funding would not allow TfL to progress with future planned investments such as Crossrail 2 or the extension of the Bakerloo line. 

“The deal wasn’t as much in terms of quantum or as long in duration as we would have wanted. So, we’re not suddenly able to say all of the projects are back on track. We can’t reinstate Crossrail 2, we can’t reinstate the Bakerloo Line extension – not yet, but there’s still compelling cases,” he said. 

>> Crossrail’s Bond Street station to open this month

>> The Elizabeth line: a welcome civic legacy designed to last 120 years 

“I like to think that we won’t be in this situation forever, we will move to sunnier uplands. There will come a point where we are able to do more, but I should just manage people’s expectations: big ticket items are not on the horizon right now.” 

He confirmed that TfL was working on safeguarding the Bakerloo extension land and that land for Crossrail 2 was already safeguarded. 

In a statement following the announcement of McLean’s appointment, Byford said her “wealth of experience” would help her drive cost efficiency across the organisation. 

McLean re-joined TfL from the ministry of housing, communities and local government in January 2020, having previously worked at the organisation for nine years in senior asset management and finance roles.