The below Parliamentary question was asked by Jonathan Lord on 2016-02-03.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to improve transport links between Woking and London since 2010.
In March 2015, I announced a £50 million investment to deliver improvements across the South Western franchise before the end of the current franchise in 2017. This package of improvements included an additional Monday to Thursday late night service from London to Woking, and new ticket machines at Woking and London Waterloo Stations.
An additional 108 carriages are being added to the South Western franchise which should all be in passenger service by March of this year, with a further 150 carriages on order and due to arrive in 2017. These additional carriages provide additional capacity across a number of the routes operated, including those serving Woking.
The Department is running a competition to award the next South Western franchise, which is expected to start in 2017. The detailed franchise specification will be finalised following analysis of the responses to the public consultation, which closes on 9 February. It is expected that bidders will be asked to make proposals to provide capacity where it is needed most.
With regard to road links, Highways England is currently making improvements to the nearby M3 by constructing a smart motorway between junctions 2 and 4a (13.4 miles/21.6km). The aim of smart motorways is to help relieve congestion by using technology to control traffic flows, to assist in the management of incidents and provide information to road users. They deliver these benefits at a significantly lower cost than conventional motorway widening and with less impact on the environment during construction. This is achieved by converting the existing hard shoulder to a permanent running lane. Work started in November 2014 and is expected to be completed towards the end of June 2017.