Carshalton and Wallington MP, Tom Brake sees light at the end of the tunnel for local commuters as a new seven year rail contract has been allocated to Govia Thameslink, starting from this September.
(Picture from https://www.flickr.com/photos/joshtechfission/)
This is potentially a welcome change according to Tom, who has met with Southern rail (run by Govia) on numerous occasions to establish why their services have been so poor and ways to improve. Mr Brake said, “For far too long, Sutton commuters have had to put up with services that simply aren’t good enough, this integrated, larger franchise may finally be the solution we’ve been fighting for.”
Improvements are promised. Govia Thameslink are expected to replace existing carriages on the Wimbledon Loop from 2016 with state-of-the-art trains, and add new connections linking Croydon stations such as Purley with Cambridge and Welwyn Garden City by 2018. The Government said the franchise would open new routes across London and greatly improve commuter services.
Mr. Brake has already reached out to Govia Thameslink and intends on meeting with them and local residents to discuss how they plan to improve services at local stations.
He added, “As a regular commuter, I share residents’ frustrations with the Thameslink and Southern train services. Although the existing operator has been awarded a bigger franchise, there is no room for complacency – I will continue our fight for better transport.”
Govia has also promised to invest significantly in improving the stations, including free wi-fi at more than 100 stations, better retail and catering facilities and improvements to customer information systems.
To sign Tom’s ‘Better Transport’ petition to improve transport in Sutton, visit www.tombrake.co.uk/campaigns