TfL fails to find New Year's Eve travel sponsor to replace Diageo

Transport for London has failed to find a brand to replace Diageo as the sponsor of its New Year's Eve travel promotion, which is just 16 days away.

London Underground: TfL still to find New Year's Eve sponsor
London Underground: TfL still to find New Year's Eve sponsor

TfL runs an extended service on New Year’s Eve. Passengers get free travel on tubes, buses, the Docklands Light Railway and Tramlink from 11.45pm until 4.30am as well as free travel on the London Overground from 11.45pm until the last trains.

Graeme Craig, the director of commercial development at TfL, said: "We haven’t yet secured sponsorship for this New Year’s Eve but we’re always seeking sponsorship to complement our operational business wherever we can and will continue to do so."

Diageo signed a three-year deal to sponsor the free travel in 2011 as part of its responsible drinking drive. The drinks giant used posters to promote responsible drinking messages and gave out free bottles of water.

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has also failed to get a sponsor for the New Year's Eve fireworks, which were supported by Vodafone last year, despite publicly launching a search in July.

Caroline Pidgeon, the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the London Assembly, said: "It is incredible that despite having had three years to find a new sponsor TfL are finally admitting that with just days until New Year’s Eve that they have no sponsor in place to pay for free travel that has long been provided on this evening.

"Why the Mayor of London, who chairs Transport for London, has not admitted to this beforehand raises a number of questions. The mayor is failing to get the basics right.

"The fact that he has failed to find a sponsor for both the New Year’s Eve fireworks as well as for free travel on TfL services is a clear indicator that the mayor is not on top of his job of serving Londoners."