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London’s rail services to be redrawn

London First thinks that the capital urgently needs better commuter rail services.

We therefore support the plans recently published by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London (TfL) to split control of suburban commuter services from longer-distance ones.

The plans mean a transfer of responsibility from the DfT to TfL for inner suburban rail services that operate mostly or wholly within Greater London, as current franchises fall due for renewal. The DfT will continue to be responsible for outer suburban services.

The first of these services to take effect is the Southeastern franchise from 2018, planning for which will start very soon.

Inner suburban rail services from London Bridge, Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Moorgate, Victoria and Waterloo stations will be taken over by TfL when the franchises are renewed.

The DfT/TfL document says that greater local accountability will result through including local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships in how passenger services can be improved.

Taking inspiration from the success of London Overground and the establishment of Rail North, the plans aim to deliver more frequent, reliable, higher capacity services with more integrated ticketing.

This ‘London Suburban Metro’ is promised to ultimately increase the number of stations with a train every 15 minutes from 67% today to 80%.

Richard Dilks, transport director at London First, responding to the proposals, said:

“Some parts of London urgently need better commuter rail services. The London Overground example has shown what can be done to ramp up frequency and reliability.

“This plan to extend those principles more widely is exactly what the capital needs.”

London First will be looking to organise an event later in the year to look at the proposals in further detail.

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss the proposals in more detail, seek further information or provide feedback, please contact railprospectus@tfl.gov.uk by 18 March 2016.

Contact: Richard Dilks, rdilks@londonfirst.co.uk

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