Thursday, March 30, 2017
Lambeth’s leader slams government on ‘breaking promise’ over fixing suburban rail crisis

Lambeth’s leader slams government on ‘breaking promise’ over fixing suburban rail crisis

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The leader of Lambeth Council, Cllr Lib Peck, has written to the secretary of State for transport expressing shock and outrage at the Government’s broken promise on fixing the suburban rail crisis.
Chris Grayling MP yesterday disappointed millions of commuters by dismissing plans to hand over failing rail franchises, like Southern, to TfL to run.
The plan had been backed by councils and MPs of all parties as well as the Mayor of London.  In a recent survey by Lambeth council in Streatham, the rail handover to TfL was chosen as the number one transport priority for residents.
In the letter, Cllr Peck said: “The current crisis in suburban rail in the capital is blighting the lives of millions of commuters.  Many are fearful for their jobs or are considering moving home, due to the shambolic and disgraceful service provided by the current rail operators, particularly Southern.  It is costing London’s economy millions of pounds in lost working hours and unreliability.
Your inaction on this issue is deeply troubling, as millions of people look to the Secretary of State to intervene on an issue of such severity.”
In a letter to the previous London Mayor, Boris Johnson, Mr Grayling stated that he wanted to “keep suburban rail services out of the clutches of any future Labour mayor”.
Cllr Peck added: “This is an issue that is far more important than party politics, and your previously stated aspiration to “keep suburban rail services out of the clutches of any future Labour mayor”, seriously undermines your position as Secretary of State.”
Before urging the Secretary of State to reconsider.
Lambeth have campaigned for Southern to be stripped of their rail franchise and for TfL to take over, for well over a year and recently passed a motion at a Full Council meeting asserting that the government “should strip GoviaThameslink of the Southern Rail franchise and hand control of these services to Transport for London as soon as possible”.
After the previous Secretary of State for Transport and the previous London Mayor agreed to the move, many residents were relieved and believed that an end to the current crisis was in sight.
Yesterday, Mr Grayling said that the government would not now support the move.  
The Leader of Lambeth Council, Cllr Lib Peck, has written to the secretary of State for transport expressing shock and outrage at the Government’s broken promise on fixing the suburban rail crisis. 

Chris Grayling MP yesterday disappointed millions of commuters by dismissing plans to hand over failing rail franchises, like Southern, to TfL to run. The plan had been backed by councils and MPs of all parties as well as the Mayor of London.  In a recent survey by Lambeth council in Streatham, the rail handover to TfL was chosen as the number one transport priority for residents.
In the letter, Cllr Peck said: “The current crisis in suburban rail in the capital is blighting the lives of millions of commuters.  Many are fearful for their jobs or are considering moving home, due to the shambolic and disgraceful service provided by the current rail operators, particularly Southern.  It is costing London’s economy millions of pounds in lost working hours and unreliability.
Your inaction on this issue is deeply troubling, as millions of people look to the Secretary of State to intervene on an issue of such severity.”
In a letter to the previous London Mayor, Boris Johnson, Mr Grayling stated that he wanted to “keep suburban rail services out of the clutches of any future Labour mayor”.
Cllr Peck added: “This is an issue that is far more important than party politics, and your previously stated aspiration to “keep suburban rail services out of the clutches of any future Labour mayor”, seriously undermines your position as Secretary of State.”
Before urging the Secretary of State to reconsider.
Lambeth have campaigned for Southern to be stripped of their rail franchise and for TfL to take over, for well over a year and recently passed a motion at a Full Council meeting asserting that the government “should strip GoviaThameslink of the Southern Rail franchise and hand control of these services to Transport for London as soon as possible”.
After the previous Secretary of State for Transport and the previous London Mayor agreed to the move, many residents were relieved and believed that an end to the current crisis was in sight.
Yesterday, Mr Grayling said that the government would not now support the move.
Lambeth have also repeatedly questioned Southern regarding their service, and the current dispute with the RMT Union, which is badly affecting many thousands of residents.
Lambeth have also repeatedly questioned Southern regarding their service, and the current dispute with the RMT Union, which is badly affecting many thousands of residents.

Assistant Editor | Shuz Azam has been a journalist for more than 20 years and although he trained in Shropshire at the Shropshire Star where he later worked as a reporter his first job in London was working on the Mercury in Deptford. He later moved to the sister paper the South London Press working as reporter, sub editor, production editor and deputy editor. He has also worked in West London as editor of the Ealing Gazette and content manager of Uxbridge Gazette, Harrow Observer and Bucks Examiner and Advertiser. Today he is assistant editor of the South London Press and works for all our titles.

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Lambeth’s leader slams government on ‘breaking promise’ over fixing suburban rail crisis