The London Assembly’s Transport Committee has called for the HS1 link between Stratford and St Pancras to be included in the Travelcard system.
The Committee has written a letter to the Rail Delivery Group commenting on a number of issues affecting trains at the moment, particularly the interchanges between TfL and National Rail and how safety messages are being synchronised, or not.
However, two other issues stood out.
One is the request that the Department for Transport should the Southeastern High-Speed route (Javelin) between St Pancras International and Stratford International in the Travelcard zonal system.
Although it is possible to use an Oyster/Contactless pay as you go ticket on the Javelin trains, there is a high-speed supplement charged on the journey – costing £6.80.
Including the Javelin service in the Travelcard zone would make the very fast, and quite luxurious service available for people commuting between Stratford and central London, and could help ease the pressure on the Central and Jubilee lines.
Whether that would be a short-term measure during the Covid era, or a longer-term one would need to be thrashed out between the Dft, TfL and Southeastern.
With a 6-7 minute relaxing Javelin trip between Stratford and St Pancras compared to around 17 minutes on the cramped tube, if it were to be approved as a long term upgrade, then housing prices in the Olympic Village will jump overnight.
The other request is a long-standing one being raised again, and that is for TfL to put Thameslink on the tube map. The Committee cites the improved accessibility for public transport since the Thameslink upgrade, which would make travelling north-south in London easier for those who need such facilities but rely on the tube map alone and are put off travelling through central London.