News

Criticism over rise in six-figure salaries at TfL

Number of staff paid £100,000 or more has gone up 28% in the past year, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Transport for London's head office in Stratford (credit Google)
Transport for London’s head office in Stratford (credit Google)

The number of Transport for London (TfL) staff members paid more than six figures has risen by 28% in the last year, it has been revealed.

Some 766 TfL and Crossrail employees earned more than £100,000 in 2022/23, compared with 597 in 2021/22.

The rise was dubbed “outrageous” by Conservatives at City Hall, who said “huge pay packets” were being awarded while mayor Sadiq Khan “begs for bailouts” from the government.

TfL points out that the pay awarded to TfL’s commissioner and chief officers is still “significantly below the market level” and that it is “vital to attract and retain the best talent” in an increasingly competitive jobs environment.

The increase in staff members earning more than six figures was in large part attributed to the fact that several employees saw their pay jump in line with inflation.

But Nick Rogers, the City Hall Conservative group’s transport spokesperson, said: “It is outrageous that so many TfL staff are on six-figure salaries, which are being funded in part through Sadiq Khan’s Ulez [Ultra Low Emission Zone] tax raid on charities, small businesses and low income families.

“While the mayor pleads poverty and begs for bailouts, he is giving out huge pay packets and gold-plated pensions to his senior TfL staff. It is simply unacceptable and Londoners deserve so much better than this.”

A spokesperson for Khan responded: “During a cost-of-living crisis, the mayor stood by his commitment to deliver a fair pay rise for TfL staff.

“In a highly competitive market, TfL should be able to attract and retain the very best talent, including the technical skills and experience to undertake hugely complex projects, which are essential to continuing to deliver a world-class transport network for Londoners and supporting jobs and economic growth in London and whole country.


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“Ulez is not designed to be a money-making scheme and within a few years, as compliance increases, it will make a net loss – any net proceeds are ringfenced and reinvested into London’s transport network.”

No bonuses were paid out at TfL this year, in line with the conditions set out by the government as part of their funding deal with the organisation agreed last year. Any bonuses assigned to employees will not be paid until the organisation has reached “financial sustainability” – which it hopes to achieve during the current financial year.

A TfL spokesman said: “TfL is a complex organisation that is central to the success of London and the UK – supporting many millions of journeys each day and engineering and building major projects like the Elizabeth Line, the extension of the Northern Line to Battersea, the expansion and modernisation of Bank Station and the extension of London Overground to Barking Riverside.

“Through the hard work of our staff, three years of freezing pay levels for senior managers and reducing the number of executive posts, we are now expecting to achieve an operating surplus in 2023/24, meaning our revenues now cover the costs of running the existing transport network.”

The highest amount of pay was given to Jim Crawford, Crossrail’s chief programme officer, who earned £499,447. That amount includes £191,088 awarded to him as “compensation for loss of employment” when he left the role in January 2023.

TfL’s spokesperson said: “Jim Crawford took over responsibility for Crossrail Ltd following the departure of Mark Wild, and was also heavily involved with ensuring that the Elizabeth Line successfully launched in May 2022.

“He left TfL on 31st January 2023 and his compensation for loss of employment reflected his length of employment within Crossrail.”

TfL’s interim commissioner, Andy Lord, was paid £363,680. The commissioner’s base salary of £355,000 remains the same as last year.


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