Transport for London is to take over control of all south London suburban trains in a big reform the government hopes will result in more efficient services.
The government and London mayor, Boris Johnson, have issued a document looking to the future of the London suburban services currently operated by South West Trains, Southeastern and Southern.
The prospectus issued looks at the development of the passenger network across the whole of the Greater London area as the existing franchises come to an end, highlighting where there have been successes — such as with the Overground network and with c2c — and where the new planned franchises already include service enhancements.
The prospectus recognises that future passenger growth requires careful planning but believes that this can best come from an altered balance between control of the lines within the Greater London area, with a shift from the Department for Transport to TFL.
The prospectus concludes: ‘The creation of this joint initiative between DfT and TfL allowing greater input to the services from all across the region heralds a new era of partnership between national, regional and local government. It will provide strategic direction for London and the South East’s railways and a strong voice in favour of the investment that will be necessary for some of the goals proposed in this prospectus.’