Potters Bar MP in emergency meeting with transport secretary over rail chaos

PUBLISHED: 13:14 05 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:14 05 June 2018

Oliver Dowden with Chris Grayling. Picture: supplied by Oliver Dowden

Oliver Dowden with Chris Grayling. Picture: supplied by Oliver Dowden

supplied by Oliver Dowden

Oliver Dowden, Potters Bar's MP, met with the Secretary of State for transport last night about rail disruption and the possibility of reviewing Govia Thameslink's franchise.

The transport secretary told Mr Dowden yesterday evening (June 4) that there will be an independent review into what went wrong, and that he is ready to take whatever steps are necessary, up to and including reviewing the operator’s franchise.

Major disruption has been affecting both lines since the introduction of a new timetable last month.

He also agreed that senior leadership at the operator should pay the price for the failures, and said that he is developing a new, proper compensation scheme for everyone affected.

Mr Dowden said: “In the short run it is likely there will have to be a more realistic timetable that actually works so people can have confidence that trains will turn up.

“Over the coming weeks, this can be expanded as there is more confidence in delivery.

“As a commuter myself, I know how awful it’s been in recent days and for more detail on the Government’s plans.

“It was crucial to meet with the Secretary of State last night and impress on him just how serious the damage, frustration and disruption is following the roll out of the new timetable.

“He is in no doubt about the scale of the problem.”

Mr Dowden will also meet with senior executives from Govia Thameslink later today.

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