The mayor's making a serious push for TfL to take over London's suburban rail routes

Lynsey Barber
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London Overground is run by TfL
The mayor wants Overground trains run by TfL

The Mayor of London is stepping up his push for Transport for London (TfL) to take over the capital's suburban rail routes and turn lines run by troubled Southern and other operators into Overground routes.

Sadiq Khan will make the business case for rail devolution ahead of the Autumn Statement.

Read more: Southern Rail commuters take on Department for Transport

"Passengers on London’s suburban rail routes simply aren’t getting a good enough service. They face increasing rail fares year after year, yet face daily delays, cancellations and overcrowding," said Khan.

‘"The government has already agreed that devolving rail services would improve the daily commute for millions of Londoners. Ahead of the Autumn Statement, I’m looking forward to presenting the full business case for how a transformed and modernised suburban rail network could also unlock new homes and provide other substantial other economic benefits for London.

For now, TfL has created a map of how London's transport network would look if it was in control of the routes, teasing us with a glimpse of the potential future of commuting.

Click or tap on the map to zoom

Proposals for TfL to takeover the commuter routes were first tabled in January by the operator, City Hall and the Department for Transport.

Since then, ongoing troubles across the routes have made calls to get going on the plan even stronger.

Khan will make the business case for the plan, highlighting the economic benefits, including job and home creation.

The plan would see TfL take control of routes as they come up for franchise renewal, starting with South West Trains next year, Southeastern in 2018 and Southern in 2021.

Read more: Department for Transport offers up £20m to get Southern back on track

Transport for London will decide on whether to back the reforms at a board meeting due to be held on Thursday.

Serious failures at Southern rail over the summer, which have caused commuter misery, spurred the London Assembly to call on the government to strip Govia Thameslink of its franchise on the route and to hand day-to-day running of it over to TfL.

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