Life after Southeastern could look a lot brighter now for passengers on the Hayes Line, with more frequent services and longer trains.
Some readers will have been aware of the new proposals for Transport for London (TfL) to take on responsibility for suburban rail services within Greater London.
Overall, the new partnership between the Department for Transport and TfL has three main aims:
– More frequent services, better interchanges and increased capacity
• Greater reliability for all passengers
• High standards of customer service
With the South-Eastern franchise being re-tendered soon (the new contract starts in 2018), TfL will now take the leading role in selecting the new operator.
TfL wants to see all stations served by at least four trains per hour, but as this may require infrastructure improvements this is has been billed a ‘medium term’ goal, with a target of 80% of stations running these more frequent services. It’s not clear yet whether the Hayes line would be among that 80%, what works would be required (if any) and the effect on residents near the line. However, this is positive move and we’ll be lobbying to ensure that the Hayes line can benefit with minimal disruption to residents – be they regular rail travellers or not.
There are also suggested improvements to station staffing and a long term aim for all services to run 12 carriages as the norm. There is also a passing mention of more night-time services on suburban routes, an idea which will have to be balanced against the concerns of those living near the line.
The plans promise to deliver the sort of improvements that were promised by TfL with the controversial extension of the Bakerloo line to Hayes (a plan that seems to have been shelved for now for the route past Lewisham). However it may do so at a lower cost and, crucially, without the loss of direct services to London Bridge and the City which the Bakerloo proposals would have entailed.
You can have your say in the consultation, available here, until 18th March 2016.