Suburban rail fare freeze promised as Mayor of London makes fresh bid for control
PUBLISHED: 09:45 06 January 2017
Fare increase "the final straw" for commuters, says Sadiq Khan
The Mayor of London has pledged to freeze suburban rail fares until 2020 if the government agrees to devolve control of the network to Transport for London (TfL).
Sadiq Khan has made five pledges to passengers in a fresh bid to take control of the services, which have been hit by delays and industrial action over recent months.
Rail operators faced fresh criticism this week after it was revealed average fares on Southeastern and strike-hit Southern would rise by 1.8 per cent in 2017.
As well as a fare freeze, the mayor pledged to provide more trains and fewer delays, safer stations, less disruption and better service should a TfL takeover go ahead.
Mr Khan said: “Millions of rail passengers continue to suffer a terrible service from the private train companies, with constant delays and cancellations, and this week’s increase in rail fares will be the final straw for many commuters.
“Rail devolution would not only mean that fares could be frozen across London’s suburban rail routes, but would also improve safety by ensuring station staff are present at all times of day and night.
“By focusing purely on reliability and customer service, passengers will finally get the frequency and reliability of trains they desperately need and deserve.”
Transport secretary Chris Grayling ruled out devolving control of suburban rail routes in December - despite the measure having cross-party support.
But he faced renewed pressure to change course when a poll revealed the majority of commuters back giving control to TfL.