Overground train

Devolving Rail Services to London

Date published: 
20 October 2015
  • Would devolving rail franchises, when they come up for renewal, to Transport for London (TfL) improve our rail services? 
  • With all the recent talk of renationalising rail services, is regionalisation the future for London?
  • How can the Mayor and TfL persuade the Government of the case for reform?

- 68 per cent of London rail passengers we surveyed were in favour of devolution to TfL, with 26 per cent preferring their existing operator.  

- Support for TfL was particularly high among users of the South London services that the Mayor has prioritised for devolution.

- We also found that the nightmares at London Bridge station might have been avoided, had a strong partnership existed between Network Rail and TfL. 

As part of our investigation into rail devolution, the London Assembly Transport Committee asked passengers what their top priorities were for improvements on the rail service they use.  They were most concerned with price and performance:

  • Reduce the cost of tickets (53 per cent of respondents)

Since 2004, passengers have seen their average ticket prices increase by 62 per cent on London and South East rail services, or 16 per cent in real terms (taking inflation into account).

  • Reduce delays and cancellations (43 per cent)

Trains have become less reliable in recent years, with one in six trains arriving at least five minutes late.

  • Increase the capacity of trains (30 per cent)

The number of passengers arriving in London above the capacity of train services in the morning peak is now almost 22,000.

  • Schedule more frequent trains (30 per cent)

A number of rail users in London often have to wait on platforms for several trains to go by, before there is sufficient space for them to board.  

Read out report 'Devolving Rail Services to London: Towards a South London Metro' below.