London Underground and TfL

26.11.18

Crossrail 2 ‘only goes some way’ to address ‘infrequent and unreliable’ London rail service

The rail service in London is unreliable, overcrowded, expensive, and requires a single rail strategy produced by TfL and Network Rail for improvements to be made, according to the London transport watchdog.

In a report published today, London Assembly’s Transport Committee argued that major proposals to meet demand, such as Crossrail 2, “only go some way” to addressing growing Londoner’s needs, and outlined six short-term priorities to improve London’s rail network.

The Assembly also claimed that it is unclear how projects from mayor Sadiq Khan’s Transport Strategy and Network Rail’s plans will be funded, and when they will actually be delivered. These concerns were echoed by transport secretary Chris Grayling in October when he told MPs of the Transport Select Committee that TfL is in “deep financial difficulties” due to the mayor’s four-year freeze on all services.

In the report, ‘Broken Rails: a rail service fit for passengers,’ published today, the Assembly’s key recommendation was for Network Rail to come through and deliver the large number of interventions required to allow more and bigger trains to run on London’s suburban network.

“Many of the interventions needed on London’s suburban rail network have been identified. But we now need to see a clear plan to ensure these improvements are delivered,” the report, authored by committee chair Caroline Pidgeon MBE, said.

The second demand is to produce a Healthy Stations Charter based on the principles of the mayor and TfL’s ‘Health Streets Approach.’ It is hoped that this charter would help to deliver major improvements to accessibility of stations for cyclists and pedestrians.

Other key recommendations by the assembly included a new approach to passenger engagement from TfL, Network Rail, and the TOCs, with a dedicated passenger engagement and user group for people using that station; and that TfL “should consider all options” to increase funding for the network in a bid to enable more frequent and bigger trains to pass through the capital.

“Our recommendations set out priorities including investment to allow more frequent and longer trains to run on London’s suburban rail network – a metro style service that we have long been promised; and better accessibility to stations for cyclists, pedestrians and passengers with disabilities,” Pidgeon said.

“For London’s rail network to thrive, and for passengers to get the service they deserve, we challenge the mayor, TfL and Network Rail to deliver on the priorities set out in our report.”

Earlier this month the London Assembly found that costs incurred by lengthy delays to London’s Crossrail project could amount to £200m in lost revenue.

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Image credit: william87 iStock images

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