James Brokenshire has endorsed a new agreement between the Mayor of London and the Department for Transport which would see the transfer of London suburban metro services - including Southeastern’s - to Transport for London (TfL). The proposal set out in a prospectus published this week will look to give rail passengers a better experience by examining options for more frequent, reliable trains and the potential for more regular services from South East London.
The proposals – on which views are being sought – would see the transfer of rail services that operate mostly or wholly within the Greater London boundary to TfL when current franchises are due for renewal. The transfer of suburban metro services to TfL, which is accountable to the Mayor, will be introduced whilst ensuring service improvements for all and no detrimental effect on fares or longer distance services. Local authorities inside and outside London will have a direct say in the way services are planned and operated.
The development of the London Overground has shown what can be achieved by giving greater focus to suburban services.
Welcoming the plans, James said:
“I'm absolutely delighted by this news. I’ve lobbied hard for several years to see metro services through Bexley transferred to Transport for London to provide greater reliability and a more integrated service with London’s bus, Tube and Overground networks. This agreement is a huge step forward in making this vision become a reality and helping to deliver much needed improvements to local rail services.
“Currently local train services just aren’t good enough and we need significant change. By making the Mayor of London more directly responsible and accountable is an important way of helping to bring this about.”
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said:
“By working closely together and taking on these new services, we’re going to emulate the success of the London Overground and give the entire capital and surrounding areas the services they truly deserve.”