Here’s why London could get loads more commuter trains

We hope you’ve registered to vote (don’t forget you need photo ID), because the London Mayor election us coming up next week (on May 2, to be exact). The mayoral hopefuls have all pledged different things for London, from more public toilets to building affordable homes and tackling violent crime. But what have they said about London’s public transport?

Current London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is hoping to be elected for a third term, has said he wants to run more commuter trains into the city. Khan says he wants TfL to take control of services operated by Southeastern into Victoria, Charing Cross and Cannon Street stations, and the Great Northern services between Hertfordshire and Moorgate. This could even mean extending Oyster card use to far away stations like Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire. Khan also wants these services to run more frequently, with a train at least every 15 minutes.

This isn’t the first time Sadiq Khan has pledged this. In his 2021 mayoral campaign he said he wanted to transfer the Great Northern services contract from GoVia Thameslink to TfL, but this never happened. 

Khan has been campaigning for all of London’s train services to be operated by TfL, taking the contracts out of the hands of private rail firms. The likelihood of this happening is up in the air – Khan would have to rely on a Labour government being elected in the next general election. Labour has now pledged to ‘renationalise’ the rail services within five years if elected. 

Khan’s manifesto pledges to ‘work with a Labour government to explore greater devolution of rail and end the misery of non-TfL rail lines letting Londoners down’.

Khan said: ‘The operators running our suburban rail services have been letting down Londoners year after year.

‘The experience of commuters has been one of delays, a poor service and unjustified hikes in fares. Rail devolution would bring huge benefits for Londoners.’

In the other parties, Susan Hall, the Tory candidate for London Mayor, has pledged to expand Night Tube services. While the Greens’ Zoe Garbett has pledged a flat tube fare and extend free bus travel to anyone under 22.  

ICYMI: Last-minute tube strikes have been announced for today.

Plus: here’s why DLR trains are getting shorter.

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