DfT & Govia to be questioned by the Lewes District Council

Update Fri 9th Sept:

southern-railwayLib Dems win motion calling for the Department for Transport and Govia to come to Lewes to be questioned by the Lewes District Council over the train service delays and cancellations

 Yesterday (Thurs 8th Sept) at the Scrutiny Committee of the Lewes District Council Lib Dem councillor Vic Ient proposed that the Committee invite the Department of Transport and Govia/GTR to come down to Lewes and meet the members of the committee so that they can present their plans for a resolution of the dispute currently running with the RMT as well as providing information on what steps they will take to significantly reduce train cancellations and late trains whether or not there is a dispute with the union.

After a lengthy debate it was clear that the majority Conservative members of the committee were not going to support Vic Ient’s motion. In the end the committee agreed a watered down version:

That the Scrutiny Committee of Lewes District Council invite both the Department of Transport and Govia/GTR to attend a meeting with members of the Scrutiny Committee so that they can present their plans to significantly reduce train cancellations and late trains.

Read more on this here:   rail-dispute-update-9th-sept

More news and information – click below:

Whilst, Govia/GTR are proposing to reintroduce just over a 100 of the 300 cancelled services in September the RMT union is staging another strike on the 7th & 8th September. It looks like the ticket office staff are also to go on strike! The reintroduction of trains does not include services between Seaford and Lewes! What a mess! It seems to me there certainly is no love lost between the Government and the RMT union. Govia/GTR  seem to be the Government’s agent in the dispute.  Looking back earlier this year there were some very unpleasant things said. To see my full report on the history of the dispute click here.

The Liberal Democrats are holding a conference in Brighton starting on 17 September and I am supporting a motion being put forward at that conference calling on the government to terminate the management contract for Southern, divorce it from the rest of the contract, take over the running of the Southern franchise using the government’s own operating company (the Department for Transport’s Directly Operated Railways holding company).

A recent further insight confirms the organisational mess which the government have got into over operating Southern Rail services. See this recent article from the City AM newspaper includes this interesting insight:

“The Southern agreement is the only one across the UK’s rail network which sees revenues go into the Department for Transport (DfT) before a cut is passed on to the rail operator. This means that all of the “passenger risk” – the potential fall out from engineering works and drooping ticket sales – is borne by the government. But it also puts the DfT in a unique position to press for change.”

Here is a copy of an article from the Sussex express back in July where I said: “Enough is enough. They have made a compete mess of running our rail services. Too many people’s lives have been disrupted. It is time for Govia Thameslink Railways to lose their franchise.”

2016-08-28 10.22.24 (2)

Copy of article from Sussex Express dated 22 July 2016

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