Following the successful takeover of the three Silverlink
overground rail services in north London – that has
delivered safer trains and increased revenue – Transport
for London have asked the government for responsibility
for national rail services in south London, too.
London TravelWatch, the passenger watchdog, welcomed the
proposal. Chairman Brian Cooke, said: 'The network would
be much easier to use if it was run by one organisation
under a single set of rules.' Commenting on the proposal,
the Mayor said: 'I am optimistic that Transport for London
will end up controlling all the over land train franchises
in Greater London. We want to get the same standards we
are introducing on London Overground on all services.'
Bringing south London's trains under Transport for London
control would mean more passengers could benefit from measures
such as the recent fares freeze.
Fares would also be set at a level to attract passengers
rather than maximise profits and sharp fare rises, such
as the 20 per cent increase on South West Trains last May,
would be ruled out.