By Daniel Hunter

The Assembly’s Transport Committee has urged the Government to devolve control of London rail routes to the Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL) rather than franchising them to different rail operators.

The Committee supports the devolution of these key services, currently run by Southeastern and West Anglia, in a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin.

The letter highlighted the resounding success of other parts of the suburban rail network controlled by TfL as evidence to support devolution. The London Overground has quadrupled its demand over 5 years from 600,000 passengers a week to 2.7 million.

It also has the highest passenger satisfaction rating of any rail service at 93 per cent. Other benefits for passengers include high train frequency and reliability, consistent fares and lower crime rates.

"Control of these key rail routes would improve conditions for passengers and drive up standards on a part of the rail network vital for London’s economic viability," Caroline Pidgeon AM, Chair of the Transport Committee, said.

"As demonstrated by TfL’s management of the successful London Overground line, which has seen boosted numbers, devolution could bring numerous benefits, including more reliable trains, crime reduction and more satisfied passengers. We hope that Government will heed our call and take the right decision to improve suburban rail services for the capital’s commuters.”

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