Councillor Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, has urged the Government to reconsider their decision against Transport for London (TfL) taking over Greater London lines operated by Southern, South Eastern and South West trains.
Councillor Dombey has requested an urgent meeting with Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, to discuss this matter.
Her urgent message to the Minister follows a joint letter from senior councillors in five South London boroughs sent last month pressing the Government to confirm their commitment to devolve Greater London rail services to Transport for London.
Commenting on the Government’s U-turn Cllr Dombey said:
‘‘The latest Government U-turn is alarming. There is long-standing cross-party support from local authorities across Greater London for the Mayor’s proposal for TfL to take responsibility for the Southeastern and Southern Rail franchises when the current contracts expire.
Sutton is developing plans to build a new world-class international centre (London Cancer Hub) for cancer research, diagnostics and treatment. This site has the potential to create over 13,000 jobs, contribute £1,1bn a year to the UK economy and deliver at least two extra cancer drugs every five years. This is one of many exciting examples of projects in London that will be at risk if the Government fails to invest in modern transport infrastructure in South London.
TfL have a proven record of running services in the capital and of turning around failing rail lines. I urge the Government to put common sense ahead of party-politics and do what’s best for Londoners.’’