After a little over two years in the position, Transport for London’s CEO, Andy Byford, has announced his resignation.

On Thursday morning, he announced his resignation from the £355,000-per-year position of commissioner, just days after TfL had successfully navigated what Byford dubbed its biggest-ever challenge: the arrangements for the Queen’s burial.

According to TfL, Byford was departing for the US, where his wife still resides and where he previously served as the director of New York’s public transportation system. From October 25 through November 1, Andy Lord, TfL’s chief operating officer, will serve as interim commissioner.

The choice was made a few weeks after TfL had obtained a longer-term financial agreement from the federal government to assist it in managing the revenue loss from decreased travel following the pandemic.

It indicated that Byford had mostly succeeded in achieving his two self-stated goals of reestablishing TfL’s post-pandemic stability and opening the Elizabeth line in central London by the deadline and budget he inherited after Crossrail had been plagued by years of delays.

The position has, however, been laden with political difficulties, with TfL caught in the crossfire between the Conservative government and London mayor, Sadiq Khan, as it sought financial assistance, and in industrial relations issues as unions fought compulsory cuts. Byford has long spoken of a future of “controlled decline” and the funding from the federal government was much less than TfL claimed it needed. Continued service cuts and difficult pension decisions will probably result in future strikes.

Byford has left a significant position twice in the past three years, most recently in 2020 when he resigned as the head of the New York City Transit Authority.

After the financial settlement, Byford claimed that “TfL set fair to move constructively into the future” and that it was now “the perfect moment to bow out and continue life in the US with my wife.”

His career’s high point, he claimed, was the Elizabeth Line’s debut, which was “very sad as it was one of Her Majesty the Queen’s last major events attended.” It was an honour to get to know her and an honour to manage the transportation plans for the memorial services for her.

Byford, according to Khan, deserves a lot of praise for steering TfL through a pivotal period in its history. “Andy has provided Londoners with an exceptional service, from keeping the city moving during the Covid-19 pandemic to the historic opening of the Elizabeth line this year. His work has ensured that, despite the difficulties we have faced, our public transportation network remains of the highest calibre.”

However, TfL will be disappointed by his departure since Powell, Byford’s apparent heir apparent and deputy commissioner, left earlier this year to take the managing director position at Stansted airport. Due to funding reductions, TfL’s chief financial officer and chief customer officer also left their positions for new ones this year. Byford expressed his worries about the “exodus of talent” earlier in the year.

After 30 years in the airline industry, primarily at British Airways, Lord joined TfL in late 2019 as managing director of London Underground.

Simpi Kumari did B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from LNMU Bihar and Masters from Chandigarh University. She is a passionate blogger, who understands the power of words and has a keen interest in writing articles and news story. Simpi is currently working as an intern at TheShiningMedia.in. Simpi’s strength are self motivated hard work and a disciplined person. She is reachable on [email protected]

By Simpi Kumari

Simpi Kumari did B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from LNMU Bihar and Masters from Chandigarh University. She is a passionate blogger, who understands the power of words and has a keen interest in writing articles and news story. Simpi is currently working as an intern at TheShiningMedia.in. Simpi's strength are self motivated hard work and a disciplined person. She is reachable on [email protected]

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