London mayor Sadiq Khan has said Transport for London (TfL) should take over the running of key stations and rail routes in the capital from Network Rail.
Khan claims that transferring responsibility for rail infrastructure to TfL would pave way towards a metro-style service in south and southeast London.
The call comes as TfL publishes its strategic case for “metroisation” in London. It outlines a plan to transform existing rail routes to provide more frequent and reliable services for commuters.
TfL wants the following improvements to south and south-east London rail services:
- A flagship route between Balham and Victoria with up to 18 trains per hour, turn-up-and-go direct links to west London via the West London line and more frequent services from Wallington to Croydon, and from Cheam to Sutton
- Predictable all day services every 10 minutes from Victoria to Herne Hill and Lewisham, to town centres in south east London such as Orpington and Bromley, and on the Greenwich, Bexleyheath and Sidcup lines
- Tube-level service on the East London and Sydenham lines and trains every seven to eight minutes from London Bridge to Tulse Hill, and every 15 minutes on the Crystal Palace and Hackbridge lines
- Simpler all-day turn-up-and-go services on the Wimbledon Loop
- New Streatham Common and Brockley interchanges, allowing customers to change easily between services to different central London terminuses and orbital lines
Khan’s plan says maintenance and upkeep of rail infrastructure could be run by the same organisation as the trains. It says TfL should get government cash currently given to Network Rail to run rail infrastructure.
London’s deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander said: “Transferring responsibility for key rail assets to TfL would be the first step towards a long-overdue transformation of the transport network in south and southeast London.
“The current rail franchise system is broken beyond repair, with large dysfunctional franchises not fit for purpose, and a lack of coordination between the rail operators and the providers of the infrastructure.”
She added: “The time has come for the whole of London to have an integrated, frequent and reliable rail service fit for a global capital city with a high-quality suburban metro which would also stimulate economic growth, new jobs and homes.”
Like what you’ve read? To receive New Civil Engineer’s daily and weekly newsletters click here.