Rail passengers in south London can look forward to a huge improvement in their stations thanks to the
adoption of Transport for London's (TfL) London Overground standards in a new rail franchise.
The new South Central franchise awarded to Southern Railways Ltd, a subsidiary of Govia Ltd - the current
franchise operator - by the Department for Transport (DfT) insists on more stations being staffed and some
staffed for longer hours.
It demands Oyster acceptance within Zones 1 to 6, cleaner stations, more cycling facilities and a
minimum of four trains per hour where possible. It will also tackle overcrowding with longer trains and
platforms - all of which were suggested by TfL.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "I am delighted the Government has agreed to work with
Transport for London to ensure that stations and services on these routes meet the list of improvements we
recommended, not least of which being the Oysterisation that will make journeys so much easier for
passengers. The Government's desire to follow our lead by insisting the new contractor run more trains
and ensures stations are staffed for longer will please everyone that uses these lines."
Besides these and other recommendations (see Notes to Editors for full list), TfL has also agreed to
invest £4m to help the train operator meet its staffing, cleaning and cycle parking obligations.
Managing Director of TfL London Rail, Ian Brown, said: "We have been working closely with the DfT on the
specification for the new franchise and are delighted that it will provide such considerable improvements
for rail passengers in South London, Surrey and Sussex.
"The acceptance of Oyster pay as you go and the increase in frequency of services on suburban routes -
and longer trains at peak times - along with later trains to provide better links with the Tube network -
will all contribute to achieving a more integrated transport network for south Londoners.
"On top of this TfL is investing £4m for additional improvements to the franchise which will generate the
equivalent of around £10 million in customer benefits. This money will pay for a programme of cleaning
and repairs to stations within the London area, as well as additional staff and more cycle parking.
"Many of these improvements have already been introduced on the London Overground network since TfL took
it over in November 2007."
TfL will also have a part to play in the management of the franchise with the train operator allowing it
to monitor performance, standards and customer satisfaction. The operator will also be required to
contribute to improving areas around its stations.
Southern will begin running its new franchise on 20 September 2009.