London needs greater rail devolution

05 September 2019

The London Assembly has today reiterated its call for greater devolution of rail franchises.


Caroline Pidgeon AM, who proposed the motion said:  

“Look at the record of London Overground and compare it to other local rail services and the benefits are obvious.

“Devolving services to Transport for London makes real sense in ensuring our train services are better run and more regular and that our stations are safer and more accessible for people with disabilities.”

Florence Eshalomi AM, who seconded the motion said:

“Rail franchises must work for passengers, not just train operators – and yet the needs of passengers are frequently discarded on many of London’s suburban routes. London’s rail commuters are fed up, and the case for devolution is now stronger than ever.

“Where TfL have managed services, we’ve seen some of the best performances. If allowing TfL to manage suburban rail franchises will mean paying passengers get better, more reliable services, then we need to make it happen and South Eastern services are a good place to start.”


The full text of the motion is:

This Assembly notes the recent decision by the Department for Transport to issue to Govia a short-term extension of the South Eastern passenger franchise until November, with an option of a further extension to 1 April 2020.

This Assembly reiterates its long standing support for the devolution of train franchises and for more suburban rail services to be run on the successful model of London Overground.

This Assembly believes that the lack of interest in the bidding process for the South Eastern passenger franchise provides a vital opportunity for the merits of train devolution to be fully reconsidered by the Department for Transport.

This Assembly urges the chair of the London Assembly to write a joint letter with the Mayor of London showing unanimous support for greater devolution of train franchises in London, starting with many of the metro train lines that currently exist in the South Eastern passenger franchise.

Notes to editors

  1. Watch the full webcast
  2. The motion was agreed unanimously.
  3. Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM, who proposed the motion, is available for interviews. 
  4. 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 Alison Bell on 020 7983 4228.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer.  Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.

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