Train station barriers

Get trains on track with TfL

07 September 2016

The London Assembly today called on the Government to reconsider its decision not to strip Govia Thameslink Railway of its railway franchise following months of delays and cancellations to their train services.

The Government should hand the day-to-day management of the franchise to Transport for London (TfL) and re-tender the franchise, so that London metro services are passed permanently to TfL.

This call echoes the London Assembly Transport Committee report, ‘Devolving Rail Services to London: Towards a South London Metro’, which recommended major reform of London’s rail services.

Florence Eshalomi AM, who proposed the motion said:

“With Southern passengers having faced months of delayed and cancelled services, it’s disappointing that the Government didn’t take decisive action many months ago.

Londoners will undoubtedly be looking forward to the day TfL run their suburban services. There’s clearly no quick fix to Southern’s problems and Government should urgently look to re-tender the franchise so TfL can start the takeover process sooner rather than later.”         

The full text of the Motion is:

This Assembly notes that, in July, an emergency timetable was introduced by Govia Thameslink Railway, which resulted in 341 services being cut. This follows months of delays and cancellations to their services.

It is beyond doubt that Govia Thameslink Railway is failing to provide an adequate service, and it must now be considered to be in breach of its franchise agreement.

This Assembly welcomes the fact that, in January 2016, the Department for Transport announced proposals that would see the transfer of rail services that operate mostly or wholly within the Greater London boundary to TfL when the current franchises are due for renewal.

This decision followed the London Assembly Transport Committee’s report Devolving Rail Services to London: Towards a South London Metro, which recommended reform of London’s rail services.

This Assembly further notes the Mayor’s manifesto commitment to “push for TfL to take over responsibility for more commuter routes”, and his recent offer to the Department for Transport to put a senior TfL team in charge of the Govia Thameslink Railway Southern franchise, which was subsequently rejected by the Rail Minister, Paul Maynard MP.

This Assembly therefore calls on the Government to reconsider its decision not to strip Govia Thameslink Railway of its franchise, pass day-to-day management of the franchise to TfL, and urgently re-tender the franchise so that London metro services are passed permanently to TfL. 

Notes to editors

  1. Watch the full webcast.
  2. The motion was agreed by 14 votes for and 5 votes against.
  3. London Assembly Transport Committee, ‘Devolving Rail Services to London: Towards a South London Metro', October 2015.
  4. Florence Eshalomi AM, who proposed the motion, is available for interviews. Please see contact details below. 
  5. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Lisa Lam on 020 7983 4067.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.