Transport for London could gain some additional surface rail services after the Government said it would split up larger rail franchises, including the strike-hit Southern franchise.
A wide-ranging ‘vision document’ published today says Ministers will press-on with plans to split the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchises and are considering “potentially transferring some services to Transport for London, for example the West London Line.”
The line links Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction and is currently used both by London Overground, which TfL controls, as well as Southern. Devolving the current Southern services to TfL would allow the agency to boost services on one of the Overground’s busiest routes.
Today’s document says the Department for Transport “will work with TfL to explore options for transferring selected services” to its control.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Rail passengers deserve a more reliable, more efficient service – and I will deliver it by ending the one-size-fits-all approach of franchising and bringing closer together the best of the public and private sector.”
Mr Grayling’s comments appear to mark a reversal of his own decision to abandon a rail devolution strategy agreed between former Mayor Boris Johnson and then Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.