The Mayor of London says proposals for further rail devolution will improve the daily commute for millions of Londoners, and act as a catalyst for new jobs and homes.
Sadiq Khan has presented the business case for further rail devolution to the Secretary of State for Transport, arguing that it will accelerate housing development and economic growth, with a potential 80,000 new homes within 1km of stations served by newly devolved lines.
“For too long, London’s rail commuters have been getting a bad service – with nightmare delays, cancellations and overcrowding increasingly the norm on our suburban rail routes,” said Khan. “Today’s business case sets out in detail the huge benefits Londoners will feel from devolving suburban rail routes to TfL. Our plans will not only use TfL’s skills and expertise to improve the daily commute for millions of Londoners, but act as a catalyst for new jobs and homes in outer London.”
The principle of the further devolution of suburban rail services has already been agreed by the Government in a joint DfT/TfL prospectus in January 2016. The business case presented by Khan sets out how further rail devolution would also deliver substantial economic benefits, supporting the development of thousands of new homes and jobs in outer London, all while remaining cost neutral to central government.
The biggest impact of this would be in south London where house building rates are less than half the rest of London due to poorer transport connections.
There are currently plans for 80,000 homes within 1km of stations that would be served by TfL’s rail devolution proposals. Improvements in the quality of rail services here would directly help to bring these homes forward much faster.
“The transfer of rail services to Transport for London cannot come soon enough for Londoners who have had to put up with poor rail services for too long,” said Cllr Claire Kober OBE, Chair of London Councils. “The devolution of responsibility for the existing London Overground network and TfL Rail has shown that it delivers a service that more efficiently and effectively meets the needs of the communities they serve, and unlocks the potential to integrate transport planning to boost housebuilding and local economies.”
PICTURE CREDIT: By Sunil060902 via Wikimedia Commons