Transport written statement – made on 9th March 2006.
In line with the commitment given in "The Future of Rail" White Paper, I am today launching a consultation document on "Proposals for the Mayor of London's Rail Powers beyond the London Boundary". The Mayor of London is required to promote integrated and economic transport services to, from, and within Greater London. This paper asks for views on whether the Mayor should have the ability to propose changes to rail services within a defined network extending beyond the London boundary, subject to agreed governance arrangements.
These changes will include the ability to buy additional services and propose savings on defined routes, to propose limited changes to train stopping patterns on longer distance services, and to pay for other enhancements, such as station improvements. The paper also asks for views on the application of future agreements on rationalised integrated fares and ticketing on the defined routes.
There is an operational case for extending the Mayor's powers on the defined routes, as a number of the services on the London inner suburban rail network begin or end just outside the Greater London Authority boundary.
Travellers and other stakeholders outside London have a direct interest in proposals which affect their rail services. Those interests should be reflected in the Governance arrangements for any new powers passing to the Mayor. The Railways Act 2005 allows for the appointment of two members representing areas outside London to the TfL board. The consultation will consider how TfL should further engage with stakeholders and obtain agreement from relevant transport authorities outside London in making and pursuing any proposals.
The consultation exercise will run for 12 weeks, and end on May 31. The consultation document can be found on the Department for Transport's website (www.dft.gov.uk) and copies have also been deposited in the House Library.