Press Release

Response to Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport’s first major speech

In her first major speech as London’s new Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander has called for talks with The Government to bring substantial parts of the ailing Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) franchise under the control of Transport for London. She was speaking at Centre for London’s conference Under Pressure: the way ahead for London’s roads and streets, taking place in central London.

Responding to Heidi’s comments, Ben Rogers, Director of Centre for London said:

“Too many of London’s suburban rail networks are not delivering on their potential.

“Meanwhile, Transport for London’s Overground service has become a benchmark for high‐quality suburban rail. It provides high frequencies; higher‐capacity carriages; improved safety and accessibility; and improved station facilities.

“Grayling should stop playing party-politics and re-affirm the government’s previous commitment to transfer London’s key suburban rail routes to TfL as the current franchises expire. Fed-up commuters would thank him for it.”

Heidi’s comments come as the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has today written to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling demanding talks get underway about transferring many of the franchise’s key London routes to TfL as soon as 2020.

Notes to editors:

  • Heidi Alexander was speaking at Under Pressure: the way ahead for London’s roads and streets, a conference by Centre for London delivered in partnership with Transport for London
  • The event was sponsored by Major Sponsors Transport for London and The Northbank BID, Supporting Sponsors emovis and British Land, and Venue Partner King’s College London.
  • Centre for London is the capital’s dedicated think tank. In 2016 the Centre published a report Turning South London Orange, a report which called on government to devolve suburban rail services to Transport for London, as the current franchises expire.