lmost 600 executives at Transport for London earned more than £100,000 last year – including a record-breaking £626,000 to an ousted director, the Standard can reveal.
The scale of the pay-outs, which came as TfL seeks a further £900m taxpayer-funded bailout to cover running costs, was described by the Government as “unbelievable, tone-deaf sums of money”.
A total of 597 TfL and Crossrail staff earned six figures in 2021/22, compared with 455 in the prior financial year.
This included £626,037 paid to Vernon Everitt, who left TfL in February after a boardroom shake-up meant to save cash.
Mr Everitt, who had worked for TfL for 14 years, received £352,697 for loss of office on top of a £200,294 salary and a £71,180 bonus. It is believed to be the biggest amount of annual remuneration ever paid by TfL.
The salaries – and almost £1.6m of bonuses to 37 serving or departed executives – were quietly approved on the day after the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend, when London was hit by a 24-hour Tube strike by the RMT seeking to protect jobs and pensions.
The revelation will cause difficulties for Sadiq Khan as he seeks to win a final bailout for TfL and a long-term capital funding deal to upgrade the Tube and bus network and repair roads and bridges.
The mayor has already proposed axing 22 bus routes and reducing frequencies on almost 60 more to save cash rather than cutting TfL pensions. He has threatened more severe cuts – including on the Tube – if the Department for Transport does not meet his demands.
A Government source said: “These are unbelievable, tone-deaf sums of money, sneaked out only days after the mayor pleaded poverty and announced massive bus service cuts.
“We said last week that those bus cuts were unnecessary and were only being done to make a political point. We said there were plenty of other things TfL could reform first. These payments reinforce our view.”
Susan Hall, leader of the GLA Conservatives, said the figures were “an insult to hard-working Londoners”.
She said: “We all want a long-term funding deal for TfL but the mayor doesn’t help London’s case by appearing so cavalier with their finances during times of such financial uncertainty.”
Many TfL staff saw their pay £100,000 as bonuses earned in 2019/20 but deferred due to the pandemic were added to pay packets.
Others reached six figures by working overtime. This included engineers working on the Northern line extension to Battersea, the Bank station transformation and the integration of the Elizabeth line into TfL.
Among the top earners over the last 12 months were:
- Chief finance officer Simon Kilonback, who received £407,461 including a £77,825 bonus.
- Surface transport chief Gareth Powell, who received £380,294 including a £54,132 bonus.
- Major projects chief Stuart Harvey, who earned £375,276 including a £84,365 bonus.
- Tube boss Andy Lord, who earned £345,970 including a £23,711 bonus.
Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild, who left TfL when the Elizabeth line opened last month, was paid £447,717. He did not receive a bonus in 2019/20.
Despite passenger numbers still being below pre-pandemic levels, TfL’s workforce increased by 239 staff to 27,034 in 2021/22. The wage bill rose by £220m to £2.24 billion.
TfL commissioner Andy Byford, who was appointed in July 2020, earned £355,000. He did not receive a bonus.
TfL is expected next week to agree a system that will allow directors to receive a bonus worth up to 20 per cent of their salary, and Mr Byford up to 50 per cent, if TfL “breaks even” on a day-to-day basis by next April and other performance targets are met.
TfL scrapped bonuses for the 2020/21 year as it fought to stay afloat. It has required £5bn of Government cash to replace lost fares revenue.
An independent review found TfL salaries and bonuses were less generous than those available in the private sector.
Mr Byford says TfL is suffering a “brain drain” driven in part by better wages elsewhere. Mr Kilonback quit in April and Mr Powell is soon to depart.
A total of 242 “golden goodbyes” were agreed with departing staff, costing £12.5m.
Kay Carberry, chair of TfL’s remuneration committee, said TfL had been “working hard to drive down operating costs and become ever more efficient”.
She said: “It is vital that it is able to attract and retain people with the right technical skills and experience to deliver complex programs and to keep London moving.”
TfL non-Tube staff on lower pay grades were offered a three per cent pay rise yesterday – but middle managers were told their pay would not be increased. One insider today described the bonuses, which were revealed in TfL’s annual accounts, as “outrageous”.
Mr Everitt was appointed Greater Manchester’s transport commissioner by the city’s mayor, Andy Burnham, in March.
TfL said his compensation “reflected his length of employment within TfL” and his severance payment included a year’s notice.
Mr Everitt declined to comment.