I totally agree with that. The sooner we know, the better, so the new operator can get cracking on what needs to be done to improve the service.
The new franchise contains some good proposals. Working more closely with Network Rail will be a great improvement, because I do not think the operator and Network Rail work together terribly well at the moment. We welcome the fact that there will be direct services from Bexleyheath to Abbey Wood, tougher demands for reliability and more frequent services to Charing Cross. However, with no decision having been made and no action, we suffer more and more, and our constituents have had enough. I know that the Minister is relatively new to his post, but I have a high opinion of him, and he is well respected across the House. I hope he will take some action within his Department.