"Terrific deal" as Transport for London could take over Southeastern's rail franchise
PUBLISHED: 12:26 25 January 2016 | UPDATED: 12:26 25 January 2016
Orpington MP Jo Johnson has reacted to the news
Southeastern could lose control of Bromley’s railways with Transport for London potentially taking over under new proposals.
The Department for Transport announced plans last week to improve services in London and the surrounding areas, which would see the transfer of rail services in and around Greater London to Transport for London.
The transfer would be due when the current rail franchises are up for renewal, in this case, Southeastern could lose its rail franchise in 2018.
MP for Orpington Jo Johnson said: “I am absolutely delighted by this announcement. I have campaigned hard for improved services for Orpington’s commuters and this new partnership offers a terrific deal for all rail users.
“I am confident that these proposals would bring the very best service to our local lines and I look forward to seeing all these plans come to fruition.
“In the mean time I encourage all rail users and interested parties to respond to the six questions contained within the briefing document relating to the proposals.”
Following the proposals, it is not expected to increase rail fares in the areas.
A Southeastern spokesman said: “The specification and letting of rail contracts is a matter for government. We are focused on working with Network Rail – who are responsible for infrastructure such as the track and signalling - to deliver an improved service for passengers.
“Under our current contract with the Department for Transport, we will be investing more than £70m in better services, including refurbishing trains and stations, more employees at our stations and better quality information.
“We will now work closely with the Department for Transport and Transport for London as they develop these proposals further.”
London’s Transport Commissioner Mike Brown said: “People want to live close to stations and they want those stations to have good quality frequent services connecting them to jobs and to leisure.
“Through this new partnership we will work with the DfT to radically improve the service that rail customers’ experience — integrating fares and information and bringing inner suburban rail services into public transport network.
“This will bring us closer to delivering what customers want and London’s economy needs — a reliable metro-style rail service that supports new homes and jobs and improves the quality of life for millions of people.”