As a commuter, I share the frustrations of my constituents in regards to the abysmal service that Thameslink customers have faced since the implementation of the new timetable.
As soon as the problems became apparent, I contacted Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to express my concerns. I have since received reassurance that they are working on a comprehensive plan to reduce disruption, including reviewing how timetable changes are introduced.
I appreciate that some issues such as signalling are the responsibility of Network Rail and I have raised - and continue to do so - the high number of signal failures.
In Parliament, I have been putting pressure on the Government to encourage GTR to bring the service up to an acceptable standard. You can see the text of my question to the Transport Secretary below:
Dr Matthew Offord (Hendon) (Con)
This really is an appalling situation and one that we should have seen coming down the line given the history of the train operating companies. I have emails from my constituents that complain about lack of communication from Govia Thameslink. They say that the refund procedures are lengthy and difficult to navigate and that the timetable implementation has simply not worked. Will the Secretary of State give serious consideration to introducing a short deadline to ensure that GTR in particular brings the service up to an acceptable standard, or finding another train provider that will do so?
Chris Grayling (Secretary of State for Transport)
I am very clear that I expect GTR to deliver an improvement to the current situation as a matter of real urgency. If it does not do so, it will lack the credibility to continue as operator.
I have also joined colleagues in calling for the declassification of first class carriages on trains and have co-signed a letter to the Secretary of State calling for a season ticket refund programme for those passengers affected. I have since been delighted to receive confirmation from the Secretary of State for Transport that there will be special season ticket compensation for many of those affected by recent disruption. You can find more details on the Thameslink website - https://www.thameslinkrailway.com/industrycomp/
I will continue to monitor the progress of improvements and keep up pressure on the Government, GTR and Network Rail with regards to delays and the impact they are having on people living in the Hendon constituency.
I am always grateful to hear the specific experiences of my constituents in order for me to share your concerns and comments directly with Ministers in parliament or during meetings with GTR representatives. If you wish to share how the recent delays have affected you, please feel free to email me at email@example.com or write to me at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.
In the meantime, I would encourage all constituents to apply for Delay Repay compensation for any affected journeys that they may have had. You can find more information on the Thameslink website - https://www.thameslinkrailway.com/help-and-support/journey-problems/del…