The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Compensation for Mid-Beds' Rail Users
Posted Friday, 1 June 2018 at 13:16

My commuting constituents already suffer enough. Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory since taking over the franchise from First Capital Connect. Some factors have been out of their control, others are not and they are consistently failing.

As long as I’ve been an MP commuters have filled by post-bag and inbox with horror stories of the Bed-Pan line. First it suffered from under-investment under consecutive government for decades. Now money is flowing into the line again it suffers from GTR’s appalling mismanagement.

As soon as the timetable changes were announced, users of Flitwick and Harlington stations asked me to pass their warnings to both GTR and the Department for Transport. I was very happy to do so. Measures taken to mitigate a reduction in the number of trains serving the stations would be all well and good if they worked. They have not. At all.

Having a lack of drivers is a problem that has plagued GTR for too long. The time when they can blame this on the previous franchisee has long since passed. Cancellations because of a lack of drivers isn’t good enough.

Since GTR took over the franchise I have told them that I expect clear, accurate communication with passengers when things go wrong. This is a basic requirement for my constituents to know they can get to work on time and home again before children and partners go to bed. This is perhaps the worst failing of the last two weeks because GTR can blame nobody but themselves. It’s been a shambles.

I’ve been relaying the very many emails I’ve received on the subject of GTR’s failures to their senior management and the Department for Transport. I want nobody to be under any illusions just how seriously failed my constituents have been. GTR are unfit to manage the franchise and have proved themselves so by gross incompetence.

When Parliament returns next week I will have a series of meetings with the Secretary of State and managers from GTR and Network Rail. I will be calling for recompense for users of Flitwick and Harlington stations, an acceptable level of service and a full, independent investigation of what has gone wrong throughout this sorry saga.

Ultimately, my constituents pay thousands of pounds to travel into London for work. It is a high cost line with a worse than low-cost service. My constituents deserve compensation and I will be fighting for them to get it.

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