London’s passenger watchdog says this weekend’s transfer of rail routes operating out of Liverpool Street from Abellio Greater Anglia to Transport for London is a “very important step” in improving the capital’s rail network.
From May 31st, services between Liverpool Street and Enfield Town, Cheshunt (via Seven Sisters) and Chingford, along with services between Romford and Upminster, will become part of TfL’s London Overground service.
On the same day services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield will also be handed over to TfL and rebranded TfL Rail ahead of the introduction of Crossrail services in 2017.
TfL has vowed to overhaul all stations it gains control of by deep cleaning them, installing CCTV and ensuring they’re fully staffed during opening hours. Existing train fleets will also be cleaned and any cosmetic damage repaired, ahead of the introduction of new trains.
Freedom Pass holders and passengers with other concessionary passes will now be able to travel at any time, and TfL recently confirmed that fares on the routes will be brought into line with those for London Overground services, meaning 80 per cent of pay as you go fares will be lower.
Stephen Locke, Chair of London TravelWatch, says the changes will “give passengers a much better deal.”
He added: ‘Over the last eight years, passengers have benefited from the much improved quality of London Overground services, with decent standards for stations, enhanced ticketing facilities, additional staffing where appropriate and improved passenger information.
“As well as benefiting from lower fares and better value for money, we expect passengers to see an immediate improvement in some key areas such as the cleanliness of stations.
“We hope that this transfer of responsibility to TfL will become a model for national rail services elsewhere in London, especially south of the river where passengers have had a raw deal for far too long.”