Rail Services (Supplementary) [7]

Session date: 
July 15, 2004
Question By: 
Len Duvall OBE
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Are you aware of the woeful consultation conducted by the SRA over the Integrated Kent Franchise? You alluded to this earlier. Their programme of cuts for the south-east London community is not just in my own constituency in Greenwich and Lewisham but also Bob Neill's (Assembly Member) in Bexley and Bromley. Is there any hope of improving consultation arrangements? Can TfL or your good offices, or whatever body replaces the SRA in the future, sort this out? It is causing mayhem and misery when people only found out there was consultation a day before the closure of consultation taking place by these bodies, yet the issue affects Londoners and transport planning in this great city of ours.

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Rail Services (Supplementary) [7]

Answer for Rail Services (Supplementary) [7]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

We inherited a consultation structure, a mechanism and set of attitudes in TfL that was woefully deficient and you were one of the leading people complaining about that. I do think we have started to improve our consultation package in TfL. There is something about the transport world, simply because they had these huge statutory powers in the old days as an arm of Government and because they thought they were doing what was in their interest, that they made their decisions and the consultation was just about them telling us what had already been decided. There are still large elements of that within both Network Rail and the SRA.

It would be extremely embarrassing if I were to publish all my correspondence on various issues with the SRA and Network Rail over the years, where you would have thought any sensible person would have agreed that some things could be conceded, but every scrap of line and siding is hung on to. We currently have the fiasco where we have offered to take over the little piece of the North London Line south of Stratford, and then convert it to DLR and run a really good service. It is essential both to the Olympics and the regeneration of the area, but they are still resisting transferring this to us, even though all they do is run two passenger trains an hour over it. Once the DLR extension to City Airport comes in, I suspect the trains will be virtually empty.