22 March 2015
The Green Party has today launched a petition calling for the Southern, Southeastern, and Thameslink rail services to be brought under public ownership.
The move comes as passengers using the services continue to experience what the party describes as “wholly unacceptable” disruption and delays to their journeys.
The petition also calls on Transport for London to take over the management of the London Bridge Station rebuilding works, one of the major causes of the disruption to services currently being experienced by rail users in the south-east. The party argues that such a move would ensure the works were properly coordinated and placed in the hands of a body with experience of managing a number of highly successful rail projects in the capital.
A combination of the disorder caused by the £6bn rebuilding works at London Bridge and a series of major signalling failures have left passengers using Southern, Southeastern, and Thameslink services facing months of chaos with delays and cancellations impacting their journeys on a regular basis.
The performance measures for all three rail companies are now well below the national average.
In recent weeks the Mayor of London Boris Johnson has come under increasing pressure to take action and relieve the misery being experienced by commuters. This has led Val Shawcross, Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee, to call for the advice and support of Transport for London but the Green Party argues that only major root and branch reform will deliver an on-time, quality, and affordable service for London’s rail users.
Tom Chance, Co-Chair of the London Green Party and parliamentary candidate for Lewisham West and Penge said:
“Rail passengers have been let down by the privatisation rip-off. We've had to put up with fares going up every year of this Parliament, and now the chaos at London Bridge. The Green Party will bring rail into public ownership, enabling Transport for London to respond to problems in a much more co-ordinated fashion, putting the passengers' interests first.”
In addition to launching their petition, the party also reiterated its pledge to introduce an immediate cut in fares for London’s rail users.
Tom Chance continued:
“Passengers need a break from the strain of ever-increasing rail prices. Bringing the railways under public ownership would enable us to introduce an instant 12% cut in the cost of rail travel. Given the huge levels of disruption they’ve experienced in recent months coupled with yet another fare hike in January, we think it’s the least passengers deserve.”