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Bexley’s rail service could “radically improve” under proposals for Transport for London takeover

PUBLISHED: 12:31 25 January 2016 | UPDATED: 12:31 25 January 2016

Commuters using southeastern service

Commuters using southeastern service

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Southeastern could lose its franchise in 2018

Southeastern could lose control of railways with Transport for London set to take over under new proposals.

The Department for Transport announced plans last week to improve services in London and the surrounding areas, which would see the transfer of rail services in and around Greater London to Transport for London.

The transfer would be due when the current rail franchises are up for renewal, in this case, Southeastern could lose its rail franchise in 2018.

MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford David Evennett responded to the news.

He has said: “This is a positive plan that would address many of the complaints that commuters have expressed to me about the continued poor and unreliable service we receive from Southeastern Railway.

“If these proposals are implemented, there could be increased frequency, better trains, improved reliability and more capacity.

“Travellers on our local railway lines deserve better, which is why I have been strongly campaigning for rail devolution in Greater London.”

Following the proposals, it is not expected to increase rail fares in the areas.

A Southeastern spokesman said: “The specification and letting of rail contracts is a matter for government. We are focused on working with Network Rail – who are responsible for infrastructure such as the track and signalling - to deliver an improved service for passengers.

“Under our current contract with the Department for Transport, we will be investing more than £70m in better services, including refurbishing trains and stations, more employees at our stations and better quality information.

“We will now work closely with the Department for Transport and Transport for London as they develop these proposals further.”

London’s Transport Commissioner Mike Brown said: “People want to live close to stations and they want those stations to have good quality frequent services connecting them to jobs and to leisure.

“Through this new partnership we will work with the DfT to radically improve the service that rail customers’ experience — integrating fares and information and bringing inner suburban rail services into public transport network.

“This will bring us closer to delivering what customers want and London’s economy needs — a reliable metro-style rail service that supports new homes and jobs and improves the quality of life for millions of people.”

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