Further rail devolution for London could be announced by April

TfL already runs the London Overground. Image: MayorWatch
TfL already runs the London Overground. Image: MayorWatch
Plans for Transport for London to take control of more surface rail services could be announced by April according to Mayor Boris Johnson.

TfL already operates the London Overground and is seeking control of suburban services currently operated by West Anglia and Southeastern

Appearing before the London Assembly on Wednesday, the Mayor said “great progress” had been made by a joint TfL/Department for Transport working group looking into the potential for further devolution.

Papers to be presented to the TfL board next week say the working group has “concluded that there were no barriers to further rail devolution in the London area.”

The routes TfL is seeking control of extend beyond the capital, leading to concerns from councils and other stakeholders outside the capital that TfL or City Hall could favour London passengers when designing services. The Mayor told Assembly Members that a robust and fair governance system could be put in place to ensure this did not happen.

Mr Johnson has previously suggested savings of £100m could be made over 20 years if Ministers approve further devolution, money he says could be used to improve stations and services.

Speaking last year the Mayor said Londoners “deserve far better service than the current franchises deliver”.

His calls for greater devolution have been backed by the Assembly and passenger watchdog London TravelWatch which also wants City Hall to have a greater role in setting National Rail fares.