MP demands action from Transport Secretary on commuter rail chaos
NE Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald is pressing for immediate action to restore a proper timetable and accurate Passenger information on the GTR line from Royston to London. He held a frank meeting on Monday 4th June with Secretary of State Chris Grayling to ask him to put pressure on GTR to end commuter chaos and bring back a reliable service, timetable and information for passengers. He also pressed for proper passenger compensation.
Later that day in the House of Commons, Sir Oliver, who often uses the service from Royston described the scene at Letchworth Station and called for action now:
At Letchworth station this morning, I spoke to passengers who have suffered great delays and many cancellations, children going to school whose train had been cancelled—one of them in tears—and workers who have been told, “You can’t keep on being late like this.” Is it not time that Govia Thameslink Railway actually produced the timetable, the service and the reliability of information that those people—my constituents—deserve? What is going to be done to encourage them to get on with it and provide that service quickly?
The No. 1 priority is to restore a reliable timetable, and I have been clear that GTR has an urgent duty to do so. There is unquestionably a large question mark over its future, but it needs to sort the problem out as quickly as possible to have any chance of surviving in the rail industry”
Sir Oliver is meeting GTR Passenger Services Director Mr Cheshire again today.
Commenting Sir Oliver said:
“Having seen the chaos of cancellations and delays for myself, speaking to many passengers and travelling on the line from Royston, it is vital that we see a decent service restored this week and proper accurate information so people can plan their lives. This is really urgent, because of the human cost. Chris Grayling has promised compensation and this needs to be substantial.”
1. Oliver called in Passenger Services Director GTR Mr Cheshire on 22 May and was told to expect day by day improvements, which have not happened.
2. Oliver has received over 200 messages and letters from concerned constituents.
3. Since 20 May Oliver has been in daily contact with GTR and Ministers pushing for a better service performance and accurate information.
4. Oliver has been pressing with the RUGs for 2 years for better faster services than GTR proposed and is pressing for a better timetable in December with fast services.
Rt Hon Sir Oliver Heald QC MP
Member of Parliament for North East Hertfordshire