Routes of the struggling rail company Govia Thameslink (GTR) could be taken under the control of Transport for London. On Wednesday (July 4) in her first major speech as London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander demanded urgent talks with the government for this to happen. GTR runs Southern and Thameslink trains which run through Croydon and Sutton. In May, the company introduced a new timetable which saw more than 5,000 disruptions in the first two weeks. And problems on the routes have persisted. Last week, 14 per cent of the franchise’s peak trains were cancelled with 39 per cent running late passing London Bridge. Heidi Alexander said: “The crisis with Govia Thameslink is blighting the lives of Londoners, and risks causing our city economic damage if it continues much longer. “The Mayor has offered the immediate assistance of TfL staff to work with the DfT (Department for Transport) to make the franchise work better, ahead of TfL being ready to take over the entire service in 2020. “Let’s find a way to bring the success and benefits of the TfL Rail and Overground to London’s wider rail network.” On the same day, London mayor Sadiq Khan wrote to transport secretary Chris Grayling about transferring key London routes to TfL as soon as 2020.