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Chris Grayling announcements

It has been an eventful couple of weeks in rail, with the new Transport Secretary making a variety of decisions and announcements.

Of those that relate to London, we were delighted to hear his firm support for Crossrail 2. Chris Grayling said “I want Crossrail 2 to go ahead”, placing the onus on how to finance and fund the line and how to get building development progressing alongside it. We’re developing a series of events and engagements relating to Crossrail 2, and these specific areas, for 2017.

The Transport Secretary also made a major decision on rail service devolution, stating that TfL would not take over the running of Southeastern’s more metro-type services once that franchise is re-let from late 2018. Instead, TfL was invited to work with the Department for Transport on the specification for those Southeastern services within London.

We think this is regrettable given the dramatic success of the London Overground (where substantial additional investment took place) and the increased reliability of TfL Rail (Liverpool St to Shenfield services, where substantial investment has not taken place). We will continue to support this measure of devolution where we think the case stacks up, as we believe it does for Southeastern. We have expressed that view to the Transport Secretary while also stressing that we share his ambitions for more reliable and frequent rail services in London and the South East and that we look forward to working with the Department on these.

Contact Richard Dilks, rdilks@londonfirst.co.uk

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