ALTERNATIVE PUBLIC FUNDING SOURCES: · Road Use Any suggestion that TfL should be become self-funded via an expansion of road user charging to all drivers (not just ULEZ) to inner or outer London must be accompanied by significant grant investment in public transport in those areas first. Charging people to drive with no public transport alternative is unlikely to be a successful scheme.
· Capital Investment in Expansion of Services In terms of line extensions, the London Plan says the Bakerloo line is due from 2020 to 2030, and the TfL website says the Northern line is autumn 2021, and the Overground extension to Barking Riverside is planned to complete in Dec 2021. For south London, the game changer would be “Metroisation” of the railways.
Essentially combining and reconfiguring Southern, South Western etc to an optimal suburban train service, while still protecting long-distance commuter services from the home counties. This could be done either with or without devolution of the services to TfL (although it would perhaps be easier with devolution). With devolution and metroisation, TfL would a) get the income, and b) get more income from an improved service.
· Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) At the moment, Londoners pay around £500m in VED to Govt. That VED is hypothecated to the new National Roads Fund, and TfL are bidding for around £500m funding over 5 years, which can only be spent on a selection of major roads in outer London. So the “ask” should be for complete devolution of VED to London which should also obtain policy benefits (as well as the income).
· Land Value Tax Having read a bit more about it, it seems the most practical scenario would involve LVT replacing council tax, business rates and/or stamp duty, and therefore maybe not raising new money, but encouraging new development. The Northern Line extension, for example, is initially funded through a government backed loan. Part of the money to repay this loan is expected from an increase in Business Rates in the Nine-Elms area, as the Northern Line extension opens and land value is increased. This appears to be a form of land value tax. It, therefore, might be more appropriate to ask for a more generic retention and control of Business Rates in London (further to the existing trial devolution the GLA has). That said, Business Rates are probably a bit unpredictable at the moment, as everyone works out what post-Covid looks like.
· Work Place Parking Levy The Mayor has indicated a preference in the past that local boroughs retain any monies from these schemes, and a few boroughs are making noises about investigating/implementing schemes now, and TfL have published guidance for boroughs to do this. It might be unfair on the boroughs for TfL to demand this source of income as well.
· Dropped Kerb/Access Charge: This is an annual form of taxation utilised in other major cities worldwide. It would most likely be collected by local boroughs, for properties with a dropped kerb enabling access. In return for the payment, the local council parking enforcement services would remove any vehicles parked alongside the dropped kerb, thus prohibiting access. In Spain, for example, the cost is around 35-40 Euro p.a.
· Cycle and Electric Scooter Surcharge: to contribute towards the cost of providing and maintaining cycle routes. In the first instance this could be introduced as a charge on the cost of purchasing a cycle, which would require devolution of taxation authority.
· TfL Secure Cycle and Scooter Parking: Users would be charged on an annual, monthly or per use basis. Space above or around tube and bus stations could be utilised in the first instance at relatively low cost.
ADDITIONAL REVENUE/INCOME GENERATING ACTIVITIES
· Homes for London: TfL has set up a separate company which has established a number of partnerships to utilise and develop its land for residential and commercial purposes, including affordable housing. For more info see: https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/business-and-commercial/property-development?intcmp=3440
This is a move that should be further developed, with a particular focus on affordable housing for key workers, including transport staff in the capital.
· Expansion and Marketing of TfL expertise in Transport: Internal training programmes to support the development of apprentices, as well as new and existing staff; growing talent internally, rather than buying it in (as permanent staff and as expensive non-permanent labour). This could be utilised to address recruitment and retention difficulties in scarce skill professions. In 2018-19 it cost TfL approximately £200m a year to buy in contractors and use consultants. This is a figure that seems excessive, especially when (we are advised) that many of the contractors receive their knowledge of public transport from the training they receive whilst with TfL. They are then able to sell that knowledge, either back to TfL when commissioned for another job or to other companies seeking to bid for TfL work. This means that there is no skills transfer: TfL staff do not benefit from contractors because they do not receive training from the individual; and by bringing in outside staff, TfL employees do not get the chance for development by being able to have an opportunity to learn and apply those skills. We call on TfL to end this short sighted approach by focus more on apprenticeships, graduate and inhouse training because it will enhance career progression opportunities and ultimately prove cost effective for the company. Establish partnerships with academic institutions (such as University Technical Colleges) to deliver to external clients services such as professional training and development programmes in areas of expertise, e.g. Transport Planning, Road User Charging, Taxi Licensing & Regulation, Fares and Ticketing.
· Analysis and Marketing of TfL Data TfL currently gathers raw data on ridership and usage of its services, making this available for free. This data is then analysed to identify patterns of behaviour by academic institutions, such as the CASS Business School and City University. This data is/can be extremely valuable to commercial organisations, and TfL could set up a partnership with academic institutions to market the information and analysis.
· Freight Hubs/TfL Logistics TfL could establish hubs in outer London, to provide drop-off points for commercial logistics and delivery companies. Dedicated TfL services (road, river and rail) would then deliver these to the local area and/or central London. This could both generate income and reduce traffic on roads in inner and central London.
· A Tourist Tax. Such a tax would subsidise mayoral managed services including the transport system (as practiced by other world cities)
EFFICIENCES AND SAVINGS
· Longer-term reduction in TfL Head Office Buildings As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many TfL staff are currently working from home and for many of them this is a preferred option. TfL could reduce its head office from three hubs to only one, reducing its rental/leasing costs. TfL could also better utilise some of its outer London locations as local hubs.
· A Fundamental Review of Procurement Practices, Processes and Governance TfL’s procurement technology is 20 years old, and TfL does not have the capacity or systems to meaningful monitor and control procurement expenditure.
· A Fundamental Review of Project and Major Projects Management, Practices, Processes and Governance This would include: - A review of standards and lists of approved products. Members report that
it kills TfL every time either in time getting concessions against these or refusal of discipline engineers to change and use the standard and list as a tool to beat the contractor with; - Station programme management: Many contractors can work on stations day and night now. Poor programme management is causing duplication of works (eg SWIP were commissioned in 2016 to re-tile some walls in Moorgate station, 6 months later another contractor (company) came along and removed them to then replace with other tiles): - Implementation of End-User input at the project concept stage. For example, the Whitechapel Crossrail part of station was designed without a thought given to the staff required to resource the many fire exits in an emergency. The end user can help designers and architects design stations fit for customer flow in all modes of running.
· In-sourcing of maintenance and service contracts This would include security, cleaning and operational maintenance in Surface Operations and London Underground.
REVIEW OF PROJECT PROCUREMENT STRATEGY
TfL has pathways as a governance process, but once authority to proceed is given they go direct to its approved suppliers on an individual basis rather than via a procurement team who manage procurement for TfL. This creates an inconsistency in regard to our purchasing strategy for goods, services, etc, as each project procures independently from each other and other areas of the business thus reducing the ability to buy in combined quantities to gain better value for money.
RATIONALISATION OF TfL SENIOR MANAGEMENT
The number has steadily grown since they were reviewed and reduced in 2012, as part of the Project Horizon organisational change programme. Despite the Mayor’s commitment that the salaries of Directors and EXCO members would be frozen for his first term of office, many Directors and Managing Directors/Chief Officers have received significant increases in salary on the basis of changes to job description.