KCC insists: Metro trains takeover cannot involve service cuts or fare rises
PUBLISHED: 11:18 10 June 2015 | UPDATED: 16:40 10 June 2015
Takeover could see Oyster card system extended to Gravesend and Sevenoaks
Train fares and services on the Metro lines in Kent and London must not be adversely affected by the takeover of the service, Kent County Council says.
A proposal to transfer responsibility for the lines from Southeastern to Transport for London is being discussed – which could see the Oyster card system extended as far Gravesend and Sevenoaks for Metro trains.
Metro trains serve Dartford, Gravesend, Sevenoaks, Orpington, Bromley South, Hayes, Bexleyheath, Greenwich, New Cross, Lewisham, Woolwich Arsenal, Peckham Rye, Catford and Kentish Town.
KCC discussed the proposals on Tuesday and says its conditions are non-negotiable.
Matthew Balfour, cabinet member for transport, said: “There could be real benefits for Kent’s rail passengers, but we are absolutely clear that we will not accept any reduction in service levels.
“There must also be no detrimental effect on Kent’s rail fares. This would need to be guaranteed as part of the transfer agreement.”
Other improvements to services may also be possible – for example, services between Maidstone East and London Victoria could become faster with the removal of small stops such as St Mary Cray, as this station would be served by four Thameslink trains per hour.
If the changes go ahead, they are expected to come into force in June 2018.