London's Mayor Denied Powers to Take Charge of Suburban Rail Lines

By Gary Cutlack on at

The transport secretary has poured the wrong kind of water on the London mayor's plan to take charge of the Southeastern services that bring people into the over-populated corner of the country, saying it amounts to little more than deckchair shuffling and that it would create an accountability nightmare.

The comments were made by transport secretary Chris Grayling in an interview with the Standard. Grayling said the idea to let Transport for London eventually take charge of every form of thing that ferries people into the city was a little flawed, as it would mean customers out at the ends of the Southeastern lines in Guildford would have their service administered by London-centric teams.

Grayling explained his thinking to the paper with: "I’m ruling nothing out for the future, but right now I think the last thing our railways need in London is deckchair shifting without a clear sign of something better on the other side," adding: "If you live in Guildford where’s the democratic accountability? Why should the Mayor of London be responsible for a train from Guildford or Dorking?" [Standard]

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