London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said that if control of Southern, Southeastern South West franchises was given to TfL when the franchises come up for renewal, there would be fewer delays and cancellations, less disruption, safer stations, and the Mayor’s TfL fares freeze could be expanded onto London’s suburban rail routes.
“If the Government delivers on its promise to give TfL control of our commuter rail lines, the Mayor is pledging he we will deliver a number of improvements for passengers,” said a spokesperson.
These initiatives include:
1) Fares frozen until 2020
While the Mayor has frozen TfL fares across London’s transport network, the Government has allowed private train companies to increase rail fares by an average of 2.3 per cent this year. If TfL assumes responsibility for suburban rail services, fares on these services would also be covered by TfL’s fares freeze.
2) More trains & fewer delays
Fit-for-purpose higher performance trains will lead to reduced time waiting in stations and faster journey times. Working alongside Network Rail, improvements to track, junctions and signalling will lead to increased train frequencies.
3) Safer stations
TfL would ensure there is staffing of all stations at all times, from the first train to the last train. More ticket barriers will also be installed at every London station to tackle fare evasion and make the network safer, with stations cleaner and brighter.
4) Less disruption
There are fewer strikes, delays and cancellations on TfL services compared to commuter services like Southern, Southeastern and South West. The number of days lost to strike action on TfL services has reduced significantly since Sadiq Khan became mayor.
The evidence is clear that commuters get a better service when organisations like TfL engage and talk with train unions. This is in contrast to the Government who have completely lost control of the Southern crisis.
5) Better service
TfL would run services using a model where the operator focuses purely on train service reliability and high quality customer service. Services would be fully integrated into the rest of London’s transport network, including Oyster and contactless payment at every station where it doesn’t exist today.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said –
“Millions of rail passengers continue to suffer a terrible service from the private train companies, with constant delays and cancellations, and this week’s increase in rail fares will be the final straw for many commuters.
“Rail devolution would not only mean that fares could be frozen across London’s suburban rail routes, but would also improve safety by ensuring station staff are present at all times of day and night. By focusing purely on reliability and customer service, passengers will finally get the frequency and reliability of trains they desperately need and deserve.
“The devolution of London’s suburban rail services is backed by the overwhelming majority of Londoners, in addition to councils, MPs, and Assembly Members from all political parties. It is only the Transport Secretary who continues to bury his head in the sand, and refuses to acknowledge the huge benefits rail devolution could provide.”
The Mayor has already submitted a ninety-nine page business plan for TfL to take control of the inner-London sections of commuter lines, and improve the service the passengers.