TfL takes control of South East London trains to boost services


TfL have confirmed that they will assume control of London's suburban rail network, including the services running through South East London to Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Victoria, London Bridge and Waterloo.

The Standard reports:

The long-running campaign to persuade ministers to devolve powers over services should increase capacity, eventually bringing an end to the cattle truck conditions for millions of Londoners, and improve accessibility. 

TfL plans to streamline fares and travel information across the whole suburban rail network, rebranding the services London Overground and turning the capital's transport map orange.

With the capital's population set to rise from 8.6 million today to 10 million by 2030, the proposals should ensure the network is able to cope, especially in South London which is heavily reliant on surface rail...

The Mayor told the Standard:

"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."

The first route to come under the next Mayor's control will be Southeastern in 2018, followed by Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern services in 2021...

It could mean that more than 80 per cent of stations have a train every 15 minutes, up from 67 per cent today..

Unlike most of the existing franchise agreements, income from fares would be handed over to TfL to invest in the network, for example bringing in new walk-through trains with more doors and staffing 100 per cent of stations during operating hours.

However, huge sums would still be needed to bring the network up to scratch, especially across South London where demand is highest, at a time when TfL's finances will be under pressure.

City Hall insiders suggested cash for investment could also be raised from the land value increase around stations, as well as from Network Rail and the Government. 

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