Rail – 20 Year Strategy for London & SE Railways – draft LSE RUS

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Network Rail has just published a draft 20 year RUS (rail utilisation strategy) for the railways in London and SE England. The three month consultation runs until 18 March 2011. Further information is in the Press Release below, and also on Network Rail's website at: http://tinyurl.com/L-SE-RUS-draft

The scoping document giving the background is available herehttp://www.networkrail.co.uk/browse%20documents/rus%20documents/route%20...

The draft RUS document is at  http://tinyurl.com/LSE-RUS-draft-doc

We will be examining the draft RUS in detail and submitting comments in the consultation. If you have time to read it and want to raise any issues or questions with us please let me know. If you have views you can also send them direct to: LondonandSoutheastG2@networkrail.co.uk , (cc for info to SRUG@southwarkrailusers.net )

It will be good for them to get comments from individual users in our area, to remind them we exist as users of the rail network that passes through here from outside London, and that it is vital for us!  To have a real influence on our services we have to get that point in during these long term planning exercises.
Network Rail Press Release
Thursday 16 Dec 2010

A long-term strategy for London's railway has been unveiled, setting out the steps needed to cater for increasing demand for rail travel in and around the capital.

With the number of passengers travelling into London in the busiest hours set to grow by more than a third by 2031, Network Rail's 'London and south east route utilisation srategy: draft for consultation identifies ways to boost capacity, improve journeys and increase connectivity across the region.

Produced in partnership with the rail industry, the Department for Transport and Transport for London, the strategy builds on existing plans to increase capacity on the region's railway, including Crossrail, Thameslink, Reading remodelling, electrification to Newbury and Oxford, the Evergreen 3 project on the Chiltern line, the completion of the London Overground network as well as a major programme of train and platform lengthening on many routes into the capital.

Assuming these are implemented in full, the strategy concludes that overall peak capacity in the London suburban area will largely be able to cope with predicted passenger numbers in 2031, with the addition of some other key measures. These include extra commuter services between the Thames Valley and Paddington, additional tracks on the Lea Valley line and more trains on the Windsor lines into Waterloo. It also recommends further developing proposals for future schemes ?
for example a ?Chelsea to Hackney line? under the capital, extensions to Crossrail and improving rail services to Heathrow.

On a small number of routes into London it is clear that a new approach will be needed to meet forecast future demand. Conventional enhancements on these routes, such as train lengthening, timetable changes and infrastructure upgrades, become much more complex and costly within the lifetime of the strategy, so more extensive options  for example the building of entirely new lines  may be needed.

The situation is most pressing on the Great Eastern and South West main lines, with commuters on some outer suburban services facing severe overcrowding. Finding solutions here will require a broader debate, looking at how the railway benefits the wider economy, interacts with housing policy and can drive changes to travel patterns.

Paul Plummer, Network Rail's director of planning and development said: ?There is an economic imperative in publishing this strategy. Only by identifying the gaps remaining after committed schemes and working with the partners to agree long term solutions will our country be in a position to prepare for its future; to put the right transport infrastructure in place to support the businesses and commuters of tomorrow.

?For that reason, some of the conclusions in this report are stark. This strategy should act as the starting point for a wider discussion, looking beyond rail planning to housing policy, the ability of the railway to drive regeneration and changes to how we live, work and travel.

?London relies on rail to get more than two million people to and from work each day, and our strategy will provide the extra capacity needed to help the economy grow. Making the railway more affordable is essential, and we will continue to work together with the rest of the rail industry to reduce costs and deliver better value for passengers and freight.

Today's publication marks the start of a three month consultation on the draft strategy with key stakeholders. After taking feedback into consideration, Network Rail will publish the final strategy in summer 2011.
Notes to Editors:

The London & South East RUS builds on the series of first generation RUSs, published between 2005 and 2010, covering routes into and around the capital. Given the length of time which has passed since some of these earlier publications, and the current circumstances which now apply, updates are needed in several areas which this second generation RUS examines. As a result it represents our latest analysis with respect to an appropriate strategy to 2031 for the South East England railway network as a whole.

The RUS process is led by Network Rail on behalf of the rail industry. A number of rail industry organisations are involved in the process including train operating companies, freight operating companies, ATOC, the ORR, Passenger Focus, Department for Transport and Transport for London. Wider stakeholders such as local authorities and rail user groups are also involved.

This RUS will have a formal consultation period of 90 days and the date for receiving responses is Friday 11th March 2011. Comments and feedback are welcome on the analysis included in the RUS and the options that are recommended.

More information on the RUS programme can be found at http://www.networkrail.co.uk/aspx/4449.aspx