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London’s train services are more unreliable than they have been in over a decade, data released today has revealed. Official data from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) showed that almost a fifth of London and South East train services failed to reach their destination within five minutes of the scheduled arrival time last year. The capital’s commuters were faced with delays worse than the national average. Labour’s London Assembly Transport Spokesperson, Florence Eshalomi AM, said the excuses for delays were “wearing incredibly thin”.

The ORR found only 87.7% of trains in London and the South East arrived at their destination on time in 2015-16, the lowest recorded since 2004-05. 

The number of Southeastern and Govia Thameslink Railway services running on time both fell in 2015-16. However, TfL Rail, which took over running some failing routes last year, has seen a welcome rise in punctuality, with 2.3% more journeys arriving on time. Ms Eshalomi said it was clear TfL had made improvements, commenting that “the sooner TfL takes control of London’s other train services the better.”

With delays affecting 10.9% of services across the rest of Britain, trains serving the capital and South East performed worse than the national average.

Delays were partly attributed to poor weather but the number of delays caused by problems with the track rose by over a third.

Labour’s London Assembly Transport Spokesperson, Florence Eshalomi AM, said:

“With Londoners facing the most unreliable services in over a decade, the excuses are wearing incredibly thin. Londoners are forking out huge amounts on rail fares, it’s not unreasonable that they expect their services to run on time.

“Rail operators need to get a grip and deliver the service passengers pay for. Clearly, where TfL has stepped in services have improved. The sooner TfL takes control of London’s other train services the better.”

Reliability of London’s rail services at its worst in over a decade

London’s train services are more unreliable than they have been in over a decade, data released today has revealed. Official data from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) showed...

Commenting on the election of Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London, the Leader of the London Assembly Labour Group Len Duvall AM said:

“My congratulations to Sadiq Khan on his historic victory today. Sadiq’s election sends a clear message that Londoners have rejected the divisive dog-whistle campaign waged against him and opted for someone who will get to grips with the challenges they face on a daily basis.

“Throughout his campaign Sadiq has focused on the need for London to remain successful but be affordable for all who live here. His ambitious, exciting and wide-ranging manifesto for the capital has clearly resonated with Londoners who want to see the housing crisis tackled, transport fares made more affordable and quality of life improved.

“I greatly look forward to working closely with Mayor Sadiq Khan to get our city back on track after eight years of damaging drift.

“Whilst Boris Johnson may have been a successful cheerleader for London, his failure to address the capital’s housing crisis and his willingness to see transport fares soar will haunt his already limited legacy. It’s no surprise that Londoners opted for a serious Mayor who will knuckle down and get on with the job.”

Mayor Sadiq Khan's win is a "historic victory" - Len Duvall AM

Commenting on the election of Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London, the Leader of the London Assembly Labour Group Len Duvall AM said: “My congratulations to Sadiq Khan on his...

London businesses have found themselves “turfed out” of office buildings due to government planning regulations, Labour’s London Assembly Planning Spokesperson, Nicky Gavron AM, has warned. New analysis by Ms Gavron revealed that over one million square metres of office space, about the size of 150 Wembley Stadium football pitches, will be wiped out after the government relaxed planning rules on the conversion of offices into residential properties. The relaxed rules make it possible for developers to convert properties without the need for planning permission, with councils only given a veto if the proposed development fails to meet the most basic conditions. Ms Gavron warned that the policy undermines London’s economy and could “result in tiny sub-standard housing which fails to serve the needs of Londoners.”

Analysis of data from the London Development Database revealed that, between May 2013 and March 2015, there were 2,806 proposals to convert office space into residential property under the permitted development rights. With over 2,000 applications already approved, approximately 1,094,550 square metres of floor space will be lost in the capital, the equivalent of 153 Wembley Stadium football pitches.

Outer London is disproportionately impacted by the government’s changes, with 746,316 square metres of office space lost, the equivalent of 104.5 Wembley football pitches. Parts of Inner London are currently exempt from the policy, but that reprieve will come to an end in May 2019.

The approved applications will see employment space across London converted into residential properties with councils given very little power to object or insist on adequate standards. Ms Gavron warned that the reforms could result in sub-standard housing, with developers allowed to “ride roughshod” over important environmental and disability standards. Under the rules the converted housing does not need to meet vital space standards or meet affordable housing requirements.

Labour’s London Assembly Planning Spokesperson, Nicky Gavron AM, said:

“Seeing businesses turfed out of offices and other employment spaces across the capital will do nothing to help London’s economy. Nor will allowing developers to ride roughshod over planning standards solve London’s housing crisis.

“Yes, we need to solve the housing crisis but this isn’t the way to do it. What this policy does is rob local communities of an opportunity to deliver the developments suitable to their neighbourhoods and result in tiny sub-standard housing which fails to serve the needs of Londoners.

“The considerable loss of affordable workspace comes as a huge blow to London’s start-ups and small business, threatening Londoners with having to move or even losing their jobs.

“Vast swathes of London office space are likely to be wiped out under this flawed policy, it’s baffling that the Mayor isn’t fighting these changes.”

Relaxed office-to-residential rules see London lose office space the size of 150 Wembley football pitches

London businesses have found themselves “turfed out” of office buildings due to government planning regulations, Labour’s London Assembly Planning Spokesperson, Nicky Gavron AM, has warned. New analysis by Ms Gavron...

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