Sadiq Khan's takeover plan for London rail
Mayor calls for private train companies to hand over control to Transport for London
London Mayor Sadiq Khan says Transport for London (TfL) should take over from the private rail companies which run suburban commuter services around the capital.
"For too long, London's rail commuters have been getting a bad service, with nightmare delays, cancellations and overcrowding increasingly the norm on our suburban rail routes," he said.
Switching over would see a reduction in delays and overcrowding and the creation of thousands of new jobs, he said.
"A more frequent, metro-style service would run across London," says The Guardian, "with TfL taking control of inner suburban rail services from London Bridge, Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Moorgate, Victoria, and Waterloo."
Khan says TfL would be able to introduce the following improvements:
- more frequent services, especially in south London;
- integrated fares and ticketing, with any freeze in Tube fares also being applied to suburban rail routes;
- cleaner and safer stations with all-day staffing;
- more ticket gates and ticket machines, and Oyster and contactless payment across the network;
- integrated branding and information for passengers across London;
- and 80,000 new homes within 0.6 miles of stations
Under the plan, train operating companies such as Southern, which has struggled with strikes, delays and cancellations all year, would lose their franchises.
Campaign group Better Transport supported the proposals. "Since Transport for London took over London Overground services, passenger satisfaction has increased and delays have been reduced by almost a third," it said.
"London Overground is a success story we want to see replicated across the capital to ensure the city's transport links can cope with its growing population and deliver economic benefits to more Londoners."