Re­newed calls made for South Eastern de­vo­lu­tion

Rail (UK) - - Network News - @AndyRo­den1

THE chair­man of the Lon­don Assem­bly Trans­port Com­mit­tee has called on the Govern­ment to de­volve Lon­don sub­ur­ban ser­vices to Trans­port for Lon­don as part of the South Eastern fran­chise.

In a let­ter to Sec­re­tary of State for Trans­port Chris Grayling, re­spond­ing to the Depart­ment for Trans­port’s con­sul­ta­tion into the South Eastern fran­chise, Caro­line Pid­geon said the Govern­ment should “re­turn to its 2016 plan” which pro­posed the de­vo­lu­tion of some ser­vices.

She says al­low­ing TfL to run sub­ur­ban ser­vices could pro­vide higher ca­pac­ity, bet­ter re­li­a­bil­ity, in­te­grated fares and bet­ter ac­ces­si­bil­ity for pas­sen­gers. She fur­ther ar­gues it would al­low TfL to co-or­di­nate in­vest­ment in the rail net­work with wider strate­gies for the de­vel­op­ment of Lon­don’s econ­omy, and al­low pas­sen­gers to hold the Mayor of Lon­don to ac­count for rail ser­vices.

Pid­geon wrote that the DfT should “guar­an­tee that the ser­vice stan­dards de­liv­ered in the new South Eastern fran­chise match those on Na­tional Rail ser­vices that TfL over­sees”. This would in­clude com­mit­ments to in­crease the fre­quency of metro ser­vices, pro­vide ad­di­tional sta­tion staff, im­prove pas­sen­ger in­for­ma­tion and in­crease the ac­ces­si­bil­ity of ser­vices.

The com­mit­tee op­poses pro­pos­als to cut the num­ber of cen­tral Lon­don sta­tions served by the fran­chise, say­ing it would in­con­ve­nience many Lon­don rail users. “It would seem that the Govern­ment and the fran­chisee would be gain­ing at the ex­pense of Lon­don Trans­port users,” it said.

The let­ter also high­lighted pro­pos­als to in­cor­po­rate Hayes-Lewisham ser­vices on the Bak­er­loo Line fol­low­ing its ex­ten­sion. “Although we un­der­stand this pro­posal has not yet been con­firmed, it is im­por­tant that the new fran­chise takes this into ac­count,” Pid­geon wrote.

TfL called for the de­vo­lu­tion of Metro ser­vices op­er­ated by South­ern, South­east­ern and South West Trains last year ( RAIL 812). Grayling re­jected the plans in De­cem­ber ( RAIL 816).

JACK BOSKETT/

South­east­ern 465036 rolls into Lon­don Bridge on Novem­ber 29 2016. The Lon­don Assem­bly has again called for the de­vo­lu­tion of the fran­chise to Trans­port for Lon­don, de­spite re­peated Govern­ment de­ci­sions re­ject­ing this. An­drew Ro­den rail@bauer­me­dia.co.uk Con­tribut­ing Writer

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