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Govia Thameslink Railway

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 18743, tabled on 3 December 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to require improvement of the punctuality and reliability of Govia Thameslink train services.

Answered on

10 December 2015

I am chairing a monthly meeting involving Network Rail, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), Southeastern and Transport Focus to monitor and co-ordinate improvements in both performance and passenger experience in the South East. This work builds upon the Joint Improvement Plan that was developed in the Spring. This Group is absolutely committed to see improvement and, crucially, to make sure that rail customers see the benefits of these improvements.

GTR failed to meet their benchmark for cancellations set out in their Franchise Agreement and in the view of the Secretary of State they are also likely to exceed their delay minutes benchmark in the near future. In order to address their poor performance and hold them to account we issued them with a Remedial Plan Notice that requires them to set out the measures they will take to improve their performance. GTR have submitted their plan and once the measures are agreed by the Secretary of State they will become contractually binding through a Remedial Agreement. Officials regularly monitor GTR’s performance and this will include the delivery of the measures and performance improvements agreed through the Remedial Plan. Non-compliance may result in further enforcement action in line with the Franchise Agreement should the need arise.

Network Rail’s performance is regulated by the Office of Rail and Road, who have recently agreed a £4.1m package of improvements to be delivered by Network Rail on the Southern part of GTR franchise area in order to address performance issues.