Transport for London (TfL) has announced that its top man, Andy Byford is resigning from the organisation.

TfL says he wants to resume life in the United States, having “delivered against the priorities he set at the start of his tenure – to get the Elizabeth line opened without any further delay, and to lead TfL out of the financial crisis caused by the pandemic.”

British born, Byford started his railway career at London Underground, and after working in numerous countries, his last job before returning to London was President of New York City Transit, where he gained the nickname of the Train Daddy for the work he did to try and improve New York City’s public transport.

He has earned a reputation as a turn-around managed coming in to sort out problems, but he resigned from his last job due to disagreements with the politicians in charge of the City. With the level of political control now exerted over TfL by the government as a condition of the pandemic recovery, there will be ample speculation why he chose this moment to leave the UK.

TfL’s current Chief Operating Officer, Andy Lord will be taking on the role of Commissioner on an interim basis, with effect from 25th October. Arrangements for a new Chief Operating Officer will be confirmed in due course.

Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “When I came to TfL I set two clear priorities – to get the Elizabeth line open without further delay and to lead TfL out of the pandemic and into a financially sustainable future. The opening of the Elizabeth line was, without doubt, the highlight of my career – made truly poignant as it was one of the last major events attended by Her Majesty the Queen. It was an honour to meet her, and an honour to oversee the transport arrangements for the ceremonial events to mark her passing.

“With a longer-term financial settlement with Government now in place I can now leave with TfL set fair to move positively into the future – supporting London’s recovery from the pandemic and truly becoming the green heartbeat of the city.

“It has been a huge privilege to have served as Commissioner, back where I first started as a Station Foreman. I have been blessed to have had such an amazing transport and public service journey and now is the right time to bow out and resume life in the U.S with my wife. I have hugely appreciated the support of the Mayor and of two outstanding Deputy Mayors. Together we have navigated some dark days through the toughest period in TfL’s history, always seeking to look after our colleagues and our customers as we steered TfL towards a brighter future.

“None of this would have been possible without the dedication and brilliance of the TfL leadership team, including Andy Lord who will now take up the mantle of interim Commissioner. Any success we have had, I dedicate to the thousands of transport professionals who set out every day to provide excellent service, to keep London moving, and to build a better transport network and a better city for this generation and for all yet to come.”


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  1. Johnny Lisik says:

    This has been brewing for a while. He of course can’t say it directly but the move is an absolutely scathing indictment on all the politicians and union bosses trying to steamroll through their own priorities over and above the longterm recovery of public transport in London.

    If I was the captain of a boat and kept being told to sail towards the iceberg, despite my repeated warnings, I’d quit too!

  2. C Benjamin says:

    Whilst this froth mouthed lunatic government continues its quest to give London a kicking, he won’t be the last to leave. It’s a measure of the respect for Andy that some of the transport unions have commended him on trying to navigate TFL through COVID and the political gymnastics of the financial settlement.

  3. JP says:

    History repeating itself it seems, just in London not New York. Fixer he may be but such types are obsessed with every loose end being tied up. So what does his premature emigration say about what’s going on behind the scenes at TfL?
    Who’s the next big-ticket trouble shooter waiting in the wings to be parachuted in? Or will the board be brave and promote from within with all the risks of ingrained tunnel vision that that could entail?

  4. c says:

    Please come back Train Daddy – maybe Kathy H did a deal with him. I could see LA or SF though.

  5. ChrisC says:

    Sorry Ian but this is incorrect

    “… but he resigned from his last job due to disagreements with the politicians in charge of the City.”

    Andy was President of the New York City Transit Authority which is part of the Metropolitan Transport Authority and is a NY State Agency and under the control of the NY Governor.

    It is not part of the remit of the New York City Mayor or City Council.

    The only politician he had real issues with was then Governor Cuomo who basically gutted the job he originally appointed Andy to do which is why Andy left.

  6. NG says:

    Johnny Lusik & C. Benjamin have the right of it- & it’s very sad.
    But it’s clear Mr Byford has had enough of the spite & bile & incompetence of the ( mostly tory ) politicians.

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