TfL Commissioner Andy Byford tells LBC: London isn't 'done' because of Covid-19

5 March 2021, 09:02 | Updated: 5 March 2021, 15:08

By Asher McShane

TfL's Commissioner today told LBC he believes that London has a bright future after Covid-19, insisting the capital is not "done" due to the pandemic.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari at breakfast, where he announced a key milestone in the Elizabeth Line project, Commissioner Andy Byford said: "There’s a lot of doom and gloom merchants out there who say London’s done, I don’t believe that.

"I believe London will bounce back, I’m not saying straight away, I think we can get back to 80 per cent ridership on TfL within a year, year and a half. "

Mr Byford hailed a milestone in the Elizabeth line project, saying the first of the brand new stations has been handed over to TfL.

TfL Commissioner Andy Byford spoke to Nick Ferrari this morning
TfL Commissioner Andy Byford spoke to Nick Ferrari this morning. Picture: LBC

“I’m determined to get the Elizabeth line open, enough delays, lets get it open."

He said he hopes the line will open in the first half of 2022 “I think people will be absolutely stunned when they see it, it’s just spectacular.”

Mr Byford added that the recovery from Covid-19 and getting the Elizabeth line open are his two top priorities.

Farringdon's Elizabeth line station was declared ready and officially handed over to TfL today. It is the first of the central London stations to be transferred over to TfL, who will operate the Elizabeth line.

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It is the second of the new Elizabeth line stations to be handed over to TfL. Custom House was the first Elizabeth line station to be handed over to TfL last year.

Crossrail confirmed last month that Tottenham Court Road and Paddington stations have reached another construction milestone, meaning they are now considered to be 12 weeks away from being ready and will be the next stations to transfer to TfL.

Mark Wild, Crossrail Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted that Farringdon station has been handed over to London Underground, this is a huge milestone for Crossrail.

“I am proud of everyone who has worked so hard to get this magnificent new railway station over the line and we look forward to more stations reaching this stage in the coming months.”