Tom Brake and Steve Reed have blasted the government’s U-turn on allowing Transport for London to take control of suburban rail services after their franchises expire.
On Tuesday (December 6), Transport Secretary Chris Grayling outlined plans to bring rail franchises under one joint management team as they expire in the next five years as opposed to giving them to TfL.
Carshalton and Wallington MP Mr Brake criticised the government for prioritising party politics over helping ordinary people.
He said: “London’s commuters have been suffering from appalling rail services for far too long.
“The crisis of repeated delays and cancellations have cost Londoners unnecessary stress, time, money and sometimes even their jobs.
“A clear solution is available, yet Chris Grayling has ignored calls from MPs from all parties, councils, businesses and the Mayor of London.”
On Wednesday, December 7 a leaked 2013 letter purported to show the transport secretary wanted to keep the trains out of the control of a potential Labour London Mayor.
The plans announced on December 6 went back on London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s earlier announcement that TfL would take over the companies.
In the announcement, Mr Grayling said he believed rail franchising is delivering real improvement, and that quality and performance are set at the heart of the franchise objectives.
Croydon North MP Mr Reed called for the Transport Secretary to resign, saying he was not up to the job.
“It’s pitiful that the transport secretary is playing party politics instead of helping London’s mayor improve London’s rail services”, he said.
“Commuters are desperate to see an end to the delay and disruption from Southern but it will never be fixed if Tory ministers prefer to play party political games instead of sorting the problem out.
“Chris Grayling has shown he doesn’t care about the daily misery commuters in Croydon suffer at the hands of Southern Rail.”
Image courtesy of the BBC via YouTube, with thanks