MP calls in top Govia Executive to explain rail chaos

North East Herts MP, Sir Oliver Heald, called in Stuart Cheshire, Passenger Services Director for Govia, to the House of Commons this morning. Sir Oliver read out to him a comprehensive list of passengers’ concerns and asked for Mr Cheshire to account for Govia’s actions and failures over recent days. Mr Cheshire apologised profusely for the cancellations and delays and explained that there are and have been a range of issues beyond Govia’s control. Mr Cheshire assured Sir Oliver that there would be day-by-day incremental improvements, for example the rate of cancellations on the Cambridge to King’s Cross line today will be about one third of yesterday’s level. There will be continuing improvements and Mr Cheshire promised that there will be a “step change” within 3 weeks, particularly on Thameslink services. Govia expect a full running of the new timetable in 4 to 6 weeks.  Mr Cheshire accepted that Govia had not done enough to explain the difficulties in advance.

Sir Oliver is also taking up passengers’ concerns with the Secretary of State for Transport.