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TfL boss nicknamed ‘Prepare Daddy’ quits as community struggles with strikes

The chief government of Transport for London (TfL) has give up after greater than two years on the helm, leaving as a community fights placing staff and shortfalls in its price range that make it depending on bailouts.

Andy Byford, dubbed “Prepare Daddy” by New Yorkers after remodeling town’s subway, introduced his departure hours after Metropolis Corridor mentioned it could lend TfL as much as £500m to assist shore up its price range and keep away from service cuts.

British-born Mr Byford, who began out on the Underground as a graduate trainee within the Nineteen Eighties, will return to the US, the place he lived earlier than becoming a member of TfL.

Recent from operating the New York Tube, Mr Byford returned to Britain to run TfL on the peak of the Covid disaster in June 2020, when the transport community confronted an existential disaster.

The transport enterprise has been reliant on taxpayers’ money for the reason that pandemic, with TfL securing round £6bn of presidency funding as passenger numbers battle to get better.

Late final month, the Ministry of Transport introduced a long-term funding settlement that may guarantee operation till March 2024.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who chairs TfL, mentioned the community “had no alternative however to just accept [it] with the purpose of getting the enterprise over the road to forestall TfL from going bankrupt’.

Mr Byford has confronted repeated strikes by Tube workers this 12 months in a dispute over job cuts. The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union mentioned this final month. additional strikes have been seemingly on account of the DfT bailoutwhich she claimed would result in an “assault” on staff’ pay and situations.

Throughout his tenure on the helm, Mr. Byford oversaw the opening of London’s Elizabeth Linethe extension of the Northern and London Overground traces, the modernization of Financial institution station and the automation of the Circle line.

Mr Byford mentioned the opening of the Elizabeth line was the spotlight of his 33-year profession, which was “actually touching because it was one of many final main occasions that Her Majesty the Queen attended”.

“Now could be the appropriate time to bow out and return to life within the US with my spouse,” he mentioned.

TfL mentioned he’ll depart the group on the finish of subsequent month, when present chief working officer Andy Lord will take over as interim commissioner.

Mr Byford was so common in New York that in January 2020 a #BringAndyBack marketing campaign was launched on Twitter to steer him to not take the TfL job.

It was there that he was nicknamed “Prepare Daddy”, a reputation which The New York Occasions mentioned got here from avenue artwork that includes a practice head with the phrases, “Prepare Daddy love you very a lot”.

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