Last night I met Chris Grayling again with neighbouring MPs to discuss the chaos on our railway. He had just had a meeting with GTR and had specifically raised our North East Herts concerns. He explained that GTR will deliver a new temporary timetable on 15 July, which should be stable and reliable. This is seen as their final chance to deliver.
He has started the process through the Hard Review Enquiry, which could lead to their franchise being removed. I raised the proposal of bringing in a team from across the Rail industry to help bring the service back on track. It was explained to me that senior management have been supported with additional experienced managers and that all available driver trainers had been brought in to help, including those from freight services. I raised the question of the compensation scheme, which will be announced early next week and particularly pressed the case for regular carnet users who perhaps travel 3 days a week. Chris Grayling said that he is taking this up with GTR.
The situation is completely unacceptable at present and I am continuing to press all those who can have an impact on improving the service. The new timetable on 15 July must work and if it doesn’t, I will call for the franchise to be removed from GTR and an operator of last resort to be brought in.