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Transport for London

Transport for London
Area of responsibility within the United Kingdom
Abbreviation TfL
Formation 3 July 2000 (Greater London Authority Act 1999)
Type Statutory corporation
Legal status Executive agency within GLA
Purpose Transport authority
Headquarters Windsor House, Victoria Street, Westminster, London
Region served Greater London
Chairman Mayor of London
Boris Johnson
Main organ London Underground
London Buses
London Rail
London Streets
London Overground
Parent organization Greater London Authority (GLA)
Staff 28,000
Slogan "Every Journey Matters"
Website .uk.govtfl
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
British politics portal
Integrated schematic map of all railway services managed by TfL presently and in the near future

Transport for London (TfL) is a local government body responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London in England. Its role is to implement the transport strategy and to manage transport services across London.[1] Its head office is in Windsor House in the City of Westminster.[1]


  • History 1
  • Connect Project 2
  • Organisation 3
    • Operations centre 3.1
  • Fares 4
    • Zonal fare system 4.1
    • Travelcard 4.2
    • Oyster card 4.3
  • Identity and marketing 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


TfL was created in 2000 as part of the Greater London Authority by the Greater London Authority Act 1999.[2] It gained most of its functions from its predecessor London Regional Transport in 2000. The first Commissioner of TfL was Bob Kiley. The first Chair was then-Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, and the first Vice-Chair was Dave Wetzel. Livingstone and Wetzel remained in office until the election of Boris Johnson as Mayor in 2008.

TfL did not take over responsibility for the London Underground until 2003, after the controversial Public-private partnership (PPP) contract for maintenance had been agreed. Management of the Public Carriage Office had previously been a function of the Metropolitan Police.

Transport for London Group Archives holds business records for TfL and its predecessor bodies and transport companies. Some early records are also held on behalf of TfL Group Archives at the London Metropolitan Archives.

After the bombings on the underground and bus systems on 7 July 2005, many staff were recognised in the 2006 New Year honours list for the work they did. They helped survivors out, removed bodies, and got the transport system up and running, to get the millions of commuters back out of London at the end of the work day. Those mentioned include Peter Hendy, who was at the time Head of Surface Transport division, and Tim O'Toole, head of the Underground division, who were both awarded CBEs.[3][4][5] Others included David Boyce, Station Supervisor, London Underground (MBE);[3] John Boyle, Train Operator, London Underground (MBE);[3] Peter Sanders, Group Station Manager, London Underground (MBE);[3] Alan Dell, Network Liaison Manager, London Buses (MBE)[3] and John Gardner, Events Planning Manager (MBE).[5]

On 1 June 2008, the drinking of alcoholic beverages was banned on Tube and London Overground trains, buses, trams, Docklands Light Railway and all stations operated by TfL across London but not those operated by other rail companies.[6][7] Carrying open containers of alcohol was also banned on public transport operated by TfL. The Mayor of London and TfL announced the ban with the intention of providing a safer and more pleasant experience for passengers. There were "Last Round on the Underground" parties on the night before the ban came into force. Passengers refusing to observe the ban may be refused travel and asked to leave the premises. The Greater London Authority reported in 2011 that assaults on London Underground staff had fallen by 15% since the introduction of the ban.[8]

TfL commissioned a survey in 2013 which showed that 15% of women using public transport in London had been the subject of some form of unwanted sexual behaviour but that 90% of incidents were not reported to the police. In an effort to reduce sexual offences and increase reporting, TfL—in conjunction with the British Transport Police, Metropolitan Police Service, and City of London Police—launched Project Guardian.[9]

Connect Project

The Connect Project is the project name for a radio communications system developed for Transport for London. The system introduced Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) technology to the London Underground.[10] The long term goal includes plans to connect all drivers on the underground with line control staff[11] and by 2010 Connect had delivered integrated radio service throughout the Underground network as a prerequisite for providing emergency services on the tube.[12]

The Connect project's intention was to "connect" all the London Underground staff via a radio and telephone network. Before Connect each line would have its own radio system. Some lines such as the Northern line were recently upgraded to a radio system which covered all areas, while other lines had aging radios that failed often and provided poor coverage.

It was funded under a private financial initiative through a consortium (special purpose vehicle name “Citylink”), who undertake to devise, procure, construct and maintain Connect for an initial twenty-year period. The supply contract was signed in November 1999 with Motorola as the radio provider alongside Thales. Citylink's shareholders are Thales Group (33 per cent), Fluor Corporation (18%), Motorola (10%), Laing Investment (19.5%) and HSBC (19.5%). The cost of the design, build and maintain contract was £2 billion over twenty years.
Various subcontractors were used for the installation work, including Brookvex and Fentons.

The 2010 TfL investment programme included the project "LU-PJ231 LU-managed Connect communications", which provided Connect with a new transmission and radio system comprising 290 cell sites with two to three base stations, 1,400 new train mobiles, 7,500 new telephone links and 180 CCTV links.[12]

The Connect project contract was signed in late 1999 and work was due to be complete as early as the end of 2002. Delays to implementation were largely the result of safely installing the needed radio equipment on an ageing railway infrastructure with no disruption to the operational railway.

All frontline LUL staff and all trains are supplied with Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA), and integrated with emergency services' communications systems as required by the report arising from the Kings Cross fire disaster.

On 5 June 2006 the London Assembly published the 7 July Review Committee report, which urged TfL to speed up implementation of the Connect system.[11]

Via the UK government's private finance initiative (PFI), London Underground procured funds for the replacement of its existing radio systems with a single trunked private mobile radio system and the installation of a new fibre optic transmission network to support telephony, customer and staff information systems and a video transmission network serving all operational sites.[13]

The East London Line was chosen as the first line to receive the TETRA radio in February 2006, as it was the second smallest line and is a mix of surface and sub surface. In the same year it was rolled out to the District, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Victoria lines, with the Bakerloo Piccadilly, Jubilee, Waterloo & City and Central lines following in 2007.[13] The final line, the Northern was handed over in November 2008.


TfL is controlled by a board whose members are appointed by the Mayor of London,[14] a position held by Boris Johnson who also chairs the Board. The Commissioner of Transport for London (Peter Hendy since 17 January 2006) reports to the Board and leads a management team with individual functional responsibilities.

The body is organised in three main directorates and corporate services, each with responsibility for different aspects and modes of transport. The three main directorates are:

TfL owns and operates the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden, a museum that conserves and explains London's transport heritage. The museum also has an extensive depot, situated at Acton, that contains material impossible to display at the central London museum, including many additional road vehicles, trains, collections of signs and advertising materials. The depot has several open weekends each year. There are also occasional heritage train runs on the Metropolitan line.

TfL has developed an electronic "Journey Planner",[16] which enables users to plan journeys by all forms of public transport and bicycle in and around London.

Operations centre

The Palestra building, home to TfL's Surface Transport and Traffic Operations Centre (STTOC)

TfL's Surface Transport and Traffic Operations Centre (STTOC) was officially opened by Prince Andrew, Duke of York in November 2009.[17][18] The centre monitors and coordinates official responses to traffic congestion, incidents and major events in London.[19] London Buses Command and Control Centre (CentreComm), London Streets Traffic Control Centre (LSTCC) and the Metropolitan Police Traffic Operation Control Centre (MetroComm) were brought together under STTOC.[19]

STTOC played an important part in the security and smooth running of the 2012 Summer Olympics.[19] The London Underground Network Operations Centre is now located on the fifth floor of Palestra and not within STTOC.[20][21] The centre featured in the 2013 BBC Two documentary series The Route Masters: Running London's Roads.


Head office, Windsor House

Most of the transport modes that come under the control of TfL have their own charging and ticketing regimes for single fare. Buses and trams share a common fare and ticketing regime, and the DLR, Overground, Underground, and National Rail services another.

Zonal fare system

Rail service fares in the capital are calculated by a zonal fare system. London is divided into eleven fare zones, with every station on the London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway and, since 2007, on National Rail services, being in one, or in some cases, two zones. The zones are mostly concentric rings of increasing size emanating from the centre of London. They are (in order):


Superimposed on these mode-specific regimes is the Travelcard system, which provides zonal tickets with validities from one day to one year, and off-peak variants. These are accepted on the DLR, buses, railways, trams, the Underground and provides a discount on many river services fares.

Oyster card

The Oyster card is a contactless smart card system introduced for the public in 2003, which can be used to pay individual fares (pay as you go) or to carry various Travelcards and other passes. It is used by holding the card close to the yellow card reader. Card readers are found on ticket gates where otherwise a paper ticket could be fed through, allowing the gate to open and the passenger to walk through, and on stand-alone Oyster validators, which do not operate a barrier. Since 2010, Oyster Pay as you go has been available on all National Rail services within London. Oyster Pay as you go has a set of daily maximum charges that are the same as buying the nearest equivalent Day Travelcard.

Identity and marketing

TFL's corporate roundels

Each of the main transport units has its own corporate identity, formed by differently-coloured versions of the standard roundel logo and adding appropriate lettering across the horizontal bar. The roundel rendered in blue without any lettering represents TfL as a whole (see Transport for London logo), as well as used in situations where lettering on the roundel is not possible (such as bus receipts, where a logo is a blank roundel with the name "London Buses" to the right). The same range of colours is also used extensively in publicity and on the TfL website.

Transport for London has always mounted advertising campaigns to encourage use of the Underground. For example, in 1999, they commissioned artist Stephen Whatley to paint an interior - 'The Grand Staircase' – which he did on location inside Buckingham Palace. This painting was reproduced on posters and displayed all over the London Underground.[22]

In 2010 they commissioned artist Mark Wallinger to assist them in celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Underground, by creating the Labyrinth Project, with one painting to hang permanently in each of the Tube's 270 stations.[23]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Company information". Transport for London. 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Legislative framework". Transport for London. Retrieved 6 September 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Alan Hamilton (16 February 2006). "It was all just part of the job, say honoured 7/7 heroes". The Times. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "Queen hails brave 7 July workers". BBC News. 15 February 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Two TfL July 7 heroes honoured in New Years List". Transport for London. 2 January 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Revellers' farewell to Tube alcohol". Metro. 1 June 2008. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Johnson bans drink on transport". BBC News. 7 May 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2008. 
  8. ^ "Londoners continue to back Mayor's booze ban". Greater London Authority. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  9. ^  
  10. ^ "TfL accepts part of the blame for slow 7/7 response".  
  11. ^ a b "TfL keeps schtum on underground radio plans".  
  12. ^ a b "TfL investment programme - London Underground". Transport for London. 2010. p. 10. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  13. ^ a b """Response from the Chief Engineers’ Directorate of London Underground to the OFCOM Consultative Document "Spectrum Trading Consultation.  
  14. ^ "Board members". Transport for London. 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Freight". Transport for London. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  16. ^ "Journey Planner". Transport for London. Retrieved 6 September 2008. 
  17. ^ "HRH The Duke of York opens state of the art transport control centre". Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "Duke of York opens TfL control centre at Palestra in Blackfriars Road". Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  19. ^ a b c "Evidence for Transport Committee’s investigation into 2012 transport" (PDF). Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  20. ^ "Transport for London Board Agenda Item 5, 2 November 2011" (PDF). Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  21. ^ "Southwark chosen for LUL command and control centre". Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  22. ^ London Transport Museum, Stephen B. Whatley profile
  23. ^ Mark Brown (7 February 2013). "Tube celebrates 150th birthday with labyrinth art project". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 

External links

  • Official website
  • London Group of Campaign for Better Transport
  • London TravelWatch
  • Transport for London companies grouped at OpenCorporates
Preceded by
London Regional Transport
Transport for London
Succeeded by
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