London’s deputy mayor for transport, Heidi Alexander (pictured), has stepped down after three and a half years at City Hall and will leave the post in January.
Under agreement with mayor Sadiq Khan she will remain on the Transport for London (TfL) board until the central section of the Elizabeth Line is in passenger service and continue to chair TfL’s Elizabeth Line committee.
While her time in City Hall was not very long perhaps, it was certainly eventful. Just before her resignation announcement, Ms Alexander was able to congratulate her team on the latest short-term funding agreement with central government to cope with the huge losses TfL sustained as a result of the pandemic.
She said she had no plans for her next move yet but it would involve ‘more time on my bike and less time on teams’.
‘It has been an enormous privilege to work with [Sadiq Khan] and so many brilliant colleagues at both TfL and City Hall. I am tremendously proud of how we kept London moving through one of the most difficult periods in its history,' she wrote in her resignation letter.
'The work we have done on Crossrail, protecting free travel for children and young people, cleaning up London’s air and making cycling safer is critically important for our city and I am pleased to have been able to make a positive contribution to these efforts.'
Her successor is Seb Dance, who served as a Member of the European Parliament for London from 2014 to 2020, during which time he was vice chair of the Environment Committee. He has also been a special adviser to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and previously worked for the charity ActionAid UK.
Mr Khan said: ‘Heidi has worked tirelessly to support our public transport during the last three and a half years. In particular, I’d like to pay tribute to Heidi for tirelessly leading TfL through the pandemic - the most difficult period in its history. She is without doubt one of the most dedicated, resilient and respected politicians I have ever worked with and I wish her all the best for the future.’
Mr Dance, said: 'A high-quality and affordable public transport network is fundamental to London and the UK’s recovery from the pandemic – and I look forward to continuing Heidi’s fantastic work.
'London is without doubt the greatest city in the world – and I am looking forward to working with TfL to deliver a world-leading transport system.'