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Transport for London: Management


Transport for London or TfL is a local government agency serving Greater London in England and it is not only the present transport authority of London but is also responsible for many aspects of their transportation system. It came into effect due to the Greater London Authority Act 1999 and is a part of the Greater London Authority. It came into being in 2000 and succeeds the earlier London Regional Transport or LRT. Its main task is to implement various transportation strategies for managing transport services in Greater London. As the TfL is directly under the control of board members appointed by the Mayor of London himself, it is responsible for implementing the transport strategies drawn out by the Mayor for the betterment of Greater London. (McClintock 2002)

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The TfL has been organized into three major corporate services and directories where each is responsible for a different mode of transport. The three directorates are:

London Underground – they are responsible for implementing strategies for the functioning of the underground rail network or the tube in London they are again subdivided into the BCV, JNP, and SSR lines.

London Rail – they are responsible for the London overground, docklands light railways and trams. They also have to coordinate with the National Rail Service of London since they virtually have no direct control over the latter.

Surface Transport – they are responsible for the London busses, roads, cycling, streets, walking, congestion charges, carriage office, traffic enforcement, road safety, and freight unit. They also provide services like Dial-a-Ride for Paratransit services and various river services. (Dunwoody 2007)

London Underground

The transport system of London is the center of all air, rail, and road networks of the United Kingdom. They have an extremely dense and widespread internal public and private transport network system and also they serve as the hub of all the national railway and roadway networks. Thus, the internal transportation strategies of London are directly among the four policy areas of the Mayor of London and are administered by the executive agency which is TfL. The public transportation systems controlled by the TfL are:

Metro and light rail – there are 2 railway systems operated by TfL as given below. Due to the huge number of commuters TfL has proposed the introduction of Tram link as well.

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London Underground – it is the oldest running metro system of our world and has 11 lines connecting Central London with the suburbs. They mainly serve the northern part due to unfavourable terrains and competition from other railways. (Dunwoody 2006)

London Rail

Docklands Light Railway – DLR is an automatic railway system that serves the docks in London. It has a number of interchanges with the Underground too and has five major branches with more extensions being under construction.

Trams – the trams of London are also among the oldest systems of transportations but London’s new and highly widespread tram system was inaugurated in 2000 called the Tram link. Other tram schemes are also being planned.

Heavy rail – being the center of the United Kingdom’s rail network, London has 14 terminal stations that provide international, airport, intercity, and commuter services. However, the suburban railway services are neither owned by nor are part of the TfL.

Commuter rail – London has a widespread radial commuter heavy rail service that serves the metropolitan areas where each terminal is linked with a commuter service so that the commuters can arrive either by surface railways or the Underground. Along with the radial lines, there are also orbital lines connecting the internals of the city.

Intercity rail – although they do not serve all the termini intercity trains serve particular areas of London. (Baker 1996)

International services – Eurostar provides international services cutting journey times by almost 30 minutes. TfL is also planning on high-speed railway commuter services which will be among their biggest projects. (Dunwoody 2006)

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Surface transport

Buses – London has a widespread daytime bus network system where almost 6800 scheduled transports to carry 6 million people every day through 700 diverse routes. Since they carry more people than the Underground, the TfL also operates a nighttime bus system over 100 routes. Thus, they provide services for 24 hours. They are responsible for setting the routes, bus frequencies, type of automobiles to be used, and also the bus fares.

Roads – London has a chain of roadways that includes orbital and radial trunk roadways and also smaller side streets. The major routes run by the TfL are known as the Transport for London Route Network or TLRN. The minor routes and local distributor roadways supplement these TLRNs and are non-strategic roadways.

Congestion charge – TfL introduced this revolutionary scheme in 2003 through which a driver is charged £8 every day for driving through a congested area, the Congestion Charge Zone or CCZ, in central London during when traffic is at a height. This was mainly introduced for reducing congestion and also to raise monetary funds for improving the transport system in London. In case of non-payment, a fine can also be imposed ranging from £60 to £180. (Dunwoody 2006)

Taxis – TfL allows only those drivers to operate taxis in London who know the city well and are licensed by the Public Carriage Office of TfL.

Airports – there are six airports in London used almost by 150 million people with scheduled domestic and international flights. The city is linked with the airports through a light rail system.

Water transport – the London River Services was created for the commuters in 1999 which promotes and governs a small-scale river bus network and also leisure cruises. 5 of the 22 docks of London are managed by LRS. TfL also manages several canals and the London port. (Grant 1997)

Walking and Cycling – TfL also strongly promotes and encourages both walking and cycling in London. It has proposed many strategies for making walking safer and attractive for pedestrians. To help the cyclists and develop safety practices for them TfL has established a center for excellence for them. High-quality promo takes widespread cycling routes are also being developed and cycle parking has been made more secure.

HRM Planning

The Human Resources Management (HRM) planning of TfL is a very effective one. It takes account of several activities, and the most important among them is making a decision on what staffing requirements one have and whether to use autonomous contractors or take into service employees to meet these needs, appointing and training the most excellent employees, making sure that they are better performers, handling performance-related problems, and ensuring that the human resources and administrational practices do the accepted thing to a various set of laws. Actions also take account of supervising the steps taken towards employee benefits and reimbursements, employee accounts, and personnel guiding principles.

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Additionally, human resource management planning in TfL efforts to join together decisions about workforce in an organization along with the strategies formulated for obtaining its cherished goal. In addition to being a very important advocate to organizational mission completion, its HRM planning is the eventual level of human resource management responsibility and such responsibility are set in motion with basic legal observance, it in due course encompasses all four levels of the management hierarchy, including being indicative of how human resource management advocates accomplishments of the organizational strategic goals. (Dunwoody 2006) TfL points towards those HRM elements that successfully arrange in a line human resources management with project mission completion do so by putting together human resource management into the individual project planning procedure, giving emphasis to human resource management activities that hold up mission goals, and constructing strong human resource and management relationships.

In this context, it would be relevant to mention that this form of maintenance of HRM is exemplary for other organizations. The organization needs to undertake human resource planning and it can benefit the business by a large margin. It is beneficial to sustain the workforce of a business with high morale and working capabilities with efficiency. This would enable the company to be more productive and thus the goodwill would grow. A proper HRM would ensure that the productivity rate and services are maintained over a long-termed basis. It is also important to ensure the betterment of the employees and an efficient HRM is capable to handle this issue.

However, to implement the plan of HRM used by TfL there are certain types of information needed to plan the future staffing along with specific stages of operation. The information needed is the number of employees, the amount of salary, the hierarchy module, and the evaluation method. The stages of operation required are conceptualization, planning, project, setting deadline, execution, and evaluation of the entire process.


The TfL is working towards providing the people of London with safer transport systems that are comfortable and attractive. They also have an official website that, among others, provides daily updates and information regarding traffic conditions. TfL has also proposed to freeze the bus fare for a few years and also limit metro rail fares. They have introduced Smartcards and Travelcards for the commuters to simplify tickets and fare structures. By tackling congestion of traffic in London TfL aims towards improving their air quality for making the environment healthy and at the same time promoting safer and better modes of traveling. (Dunwoody 2006)


Baker, M (1996), London Transport, London: Ian Allan, ISBN 0711024804, 9780711024809.

Dunwoody, G (2007), Transport for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games: the draft transport plan, Olympic Delivery Authority response to the Committee’s third report of session 2006-07, sixth special report of session 2006-07, London: The Stationery Office, 2007, ISBN 0215033914, 9780215033918.

Dunwoody, G (2006), Going for Gold: Transport for London’s 2012 Olympic Games; Third Report of Session 2005-06, London: The Stationery Office, 2006, ISBN 0215027906, 9780215027900.

Grant, C (1997), Starting from Scratch: The Development of Transport in London Docklands, London: London Docklands Development Corporation, ISBN 0953111407, 9780953111404.

McClintock, H (2002), Planning for Cycling: Principles, Practice, and Solutions for Urban Planners, London: Woodhead Publishing, ISBN 1855735814, 9781855735811.

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