The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has made calls for the government to make a change to the control of rail infrastructure management by passing it over to TFL and to take control of the devolved suburban services.
These calls were made by Khan in an attempt to help create a new metro-style service located in the south and southeast of London. This would result in all responsibility being taken from Network Rail and transferred to TFL so that it can focus on repairing the lack of coordination between those who provide the infrastructure and the rail operators.
The TFL would also be able to prioritise investment, providing funding for new stations, tracks and signalling, helping to create a rail network that is fully-integrated and linked.
The mayor claimed that a third of people who live in the south and southeast of London with a station nearby did not benefit from a regular train service. This resulted in him making a claim that the current rail franchise is damaged to the point where it cannot be fixed.
The blame was placed at the feet of dysfunctional franchises that were not capable of dealing with the high-volume or frequency that the people of London expect from a suburban metro. He also claimed that the ticket system is too complicated and the poor transport links has put a stop to housing development and the growth of the economy.
The deputy mayor for transport, Heidi Alexander has said that there has never been such a need for devolution of the rail services. The whole of London has to have access to a reliable service that is frequent and integrated that fits in with a global city such as London. The new suburban metro would help to promote economic growth as well as new jobs and the construction of more homes.
So, transferring responsibility would help to transform the transport network in London. All of which comes after the TFL published a strategic case for ‘metroisation’, where existing rail lines would be transformed into reliable services that commuters can use.