On Monday (18th January) I and a number of concerned colleagues met with the Chief Executives of Southern and Network Rail, as well as the Rail Minister, to discuss the consistently appalling level of service endured by our constituents.
Whilst improving the network is a huge logistical task given how many people depend on these services (half a million passengers through London Bridge each weekday, and a quarter of a million through Victoria), we made clear that Southern and Network rail need to up their game. It is simply not good enough to blame driver shortages when this is a problem of Southern’s own making. The meeting further highlighted how unacceptable it would be for GTR shareholders to receive dividends while performance remains so poor.
I also raised questions around the basis on which Govia was awarded the franchise, and in what circumstances the terms would be considered breached. I will continue to press on this issue as well as the case for better compensation, as it is extremely unfair that this is only offered after 30 minutes’ delay, when trains are late while still below this threshold every single day.