Use this delay to put passengers first
The daily misery endured by passengers using Southeastern railway can be ended if responsibility for contracting their Metro services is transferred to Transport for London, Sadiq Khan declares today (8 August).
The Mayor of London has written to the Secretary of State for Transport to urge him to put the needs of thousands of long-suffering passengers first.
An announcement on which company will be awarded the South-Eastern rail franchise has already been delayed by three-months, and none of the three bidders has given passengers confidence that they would be up to the challenge of operating the services. With an announcement not expected to be made until November, the Mayor has urged the Secretary of State to seize this crucial opportunity for a fresh approach.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “These passengers deserve so much better than they are currently getting and I believe now is the time for a fresh start. The Government could make the most of this delay by working with me to put passengers first by transferring responsibility for contracting these Metro services to TfL. Their expertise would provide the more frequent and reliable services these passengers are crying out for.”
In his letter the Mayor describes recent performance on Southeastern services as: “mediocre at best”. He also reminds the Government that Transport for London has improved reliability across its network in recent years and have proposed improvements for the suburban South Eastern metro services operating within the capital that include:
- Improved station staffing to provide better assistance and a more secure travel environment for all passengers, including the guarantee of a turn-up-and-go service.
- Integration into TfL's fares and ticketing structures, including the fares freeze on TfL services, ending the situation where customers pay a different fare depending on which operator's service they travel on.
- Integration into TfL's real-time information processes and products, providing accurate, live, joined-up travel advice for passengers.
- More services to increase train frequencies at times of day when there is spare track capacity (for example in the evenings and on Sundays).
- Measures to improve ticket retailing and reduce fare evasion including the provisions of more and improved ticket machines.
- Deep cleans and improved facilities at stations, as well as refurbishment of the trains.