Kent County Council has responded to the surprise decision of Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State of Transport, not to approve the transfer of the Southeastern Metro services to Transport for London.
Matthew Balfour, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport said: “While we are disappointed with the Secretary of State’s decision, as we had carefully negotiated our ‘red lines’ with the Mayor and Transport for London which would have protected the interests of Kent’s rail passengers, Kent County Council accepts the government’s decision.
“We welcome the offer of co-operation with the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) as we already have a good working relationship at member and officer level.
“This will enable the authorities in both parts of the new franchise area to ensure the best rail service for all passengers using the new Southeastern franchise.
“KCC will respond as planned to the public consultation in early 2017, as the council’s aspiration will continue to be a better rail service for all Kent’s rail passengers in the new franchise.”
The council also notes the revised franchise schedule also published today.
The public consultation is expected to start in February 2017, with the invitation to tender in September 2017 and the award of the new contract in August 2018.
The new franchise is now due to commence in December 2018.