While projects such as Crossrail 2 and the Mayor’s Transport Strategy are expected to bring long-term improvements, the Broken Rails: A rail service fit for passengers report released on November 26 outlines six recommendations which it says are needed until then, including:
- a single rail strategy for London, produced in partnership by Transport for London (TfL) and Network Rail
- effective small-scale interventions
- an increase in funding for London’s rail network
- additional funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) specifically for station access,
- better and more meaningful engagement with passengers, and
- a Healthy Stations Charter informed by the Mayor’s Healthy Streets Approach.
The report calls for more frequent and longer trains to operate on the existing network, following a series of strategic, targeted upgrades. It says the mayor and TfL should also produce a Healthy Stations Charter to deliver a drastic improvement in the accessibility of stations to cyclists and pedestrians, including passengers with reduced mobility.
The report also recommends launching dedicated passenger engagement channels for every station in London, regardless of its management, with a specific station user group for people using that station.
“We have seen from our investigation that the rail network is failing passengers because trains are too small, too infrequent and too unreliable; and stations are often difficult to access,” says London Assembly chair, Ms Caroline Pidgeon. “Poor rail infrastructure has a direct and negative effect on our quality of life and economic productivity - in a major world city like London, this is simply unacceptable.”