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London transport commissioner Byford to leave; COO Lord named interim head

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FILE PHOTO: The Elizabeth Line opens to members of the public in London

(Reuters) - Transport for London (TfL), which runs the British capital's rail and bus system, said its commissioner Andy Byford will leave the organisation after more than two years in the role and named its Chief Operating Officer Andy Lord as the interim head.

During Byford's tenure, TfL secured further financial support 1.16 billion pounds ($1.31 billion) for London transport, until end-March 2024 from the British government, as the pandemic wreaked havoc.

Tfl said in a statement on Thursday that Lord will takeover as the commisisoner on an interim basis starting Oct. 25, with Byford, who joined TfL in June 2020, leaving for the United States.

In May, TfL opened London's long-delayed and over-budget $24 billion Crossrail to passengers, offering faster journeys from Heathrow Airport and Berkshire in the west to Essex in the east through a series of new, long tunnels under Britain's capital.

The railway, which has been renamed the "Elizabeth" line in honour of Queen Elizabeth, is expected to carry 200 million people a year and will increase London's rail capacity by 10%, TfL had said.

($1 = 0.8837 pounds)

(Reporting by Amna Karimi in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)