Great Northern Rail Franchise (3)

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 15th January 2020.

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Photo of Joanne McCartney Joanne McCartney Labour

When is it likely TfL could take over the Great Northern rail franchise if the government were to devolve the rail line to TfL? Would it have to wait until the end of the current franchise period in 2021 or could it be transferred sooner?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

I am keen to secure the transfer of Great Northern services to Transport for London (TfL) from the Department for Transport (DfT) at the earliest opportunity.

However, ultimately, only the Secretary of State for Transport can enable this, requiring for example a statutory instrument to be laid before Parliament. TfL also must of course follow public sector procurement rules, and there would be many hundreds of contracts to amend. This means that, from the time of DfT’s approval in principle, any transfer would require between 18 and 30 months to deliver. This implies the services could transfer between autumn 2021 (after the current franchise expires) and autumn 2022.