London’s business leaders are calling for the “rationalisation” of mainline rail services after a poll revealed widespread concern that poor performance by train operators is harming the capital’s success.
In a poll carried out by ComRes for the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 40% of firms named poor reliability and punctuality of rail services as one of the top three issues affecting their business.
58% of the 500 business leaders polled said a member of staff had been late to work due to train delays or cancellations at least once in the past year.
In addition, 48% said they’d had members of staff unable to get into to work due to poor performing trains.
The LCCI says the “ongoing issue of poor commuter rail services” is now having a tangible impact on businesses and is calling for the “rationalisation of the management and operation of rail services into the capital”.
The organisation also wants ministers to consider handing responsibility for services to Transport for London when each franchise comes up for renewal.
TfL already operates the DLR, Tube and popular London Overground service which regularly outperforms other train firms operating in the capital.
Next month it is due to take over routes running from Liverpool Street station to Enfield Town, Cheshunt (via Seven Sisters) and Chingford.
Colin Stanbridge, LCCI Chief Executive said: “It is simply intolerable that poor quality train services into and out of London are having such a significant impact on the capital’s businesses.
“Small businesses and traders in particular will be severely impacted if staff are unable to make it into work – with fewer staff in a small business, each one counts.
“The time has now come to stop moaning about the problems and start to look for solutions. We urge the new government to look to devolve responsibility for commuter train services into the capital to Transport for London.
“It makes total sense to join up our transport network under an integrated management body and would help to overcome some of the issues that have been experienced over the past six months.”