|TfL's vision for its expanded empire|
The plan sets out how a better integrated and more reliable suburban rail network would improve services for millions of passengers, many of whom are being severely let down by suburban rail services out of stations like London Bridge and Waterloo.
The principle of the further devolution of suburban rail services has already been agreed by the Government in a joint DfT/TfL prospectus in January 2016. The business case presented today sets out how further Rail devolution would also deliver substantial economic benefits, supporting the development of 80,000 new homes while remaining cost neutral to central government.
The business case states how rail infrastructure in south London has been under-utilised, with low levels of capacity, poor service provision and increasingly crowded services. The case explains how, working closely with partners, TfL could apply its experience of successfully running the London Underground and London Overground networks to substantially improve travel for millions of rail passengers.
Improvements TfL believe they can deliver include:
• More frequent services, including increasing services longer term between Orpington and Victoria from 6 trains to 8 trains an hour, and trains from Bexleyheath to London from 7 trains to 9 trains per hour
• Integrated fares and ticketing, with any freeze in TfL fares also being applied to devolved rail routes within London.
• Cleaner, refurbished and safer stations with all day staffing, turn up and go services for those with accessibility needs, and more reliable trains
• Installing more ticket gates, introducing Oyster and contactless payment where they’re not already available, and providing more or better ticket machines
The biggest impact of this would be in south London where house building rates are less than half the rest of London due to poorer transport connections.
The plan proposes the "provision of a new interchange facility at Brockley between Southeastern, Southern and London Overground services to enhance network flexibility and the additional journey opportunities this provides."
“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. Today’s business case sets out in detail the huge benefits Londoners will feel from devolving suburban rail routes to TfL. Our plans will not only use TfL’s skills and expertise to improve the daily commute for millions of Londoners, but act as a catalyst for new jobs and homes in outer London."