GTR to contribute £15m towards passenger comforts, forego profits

 Tuesday, December 4, 2018 


The Department for Transport (DfT) has said in a statement that Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) would contribute £15m towards improvements in services for rail passengers and would make no profit in 2018


The company has already spent a similar amount in passenger compensation after chaos following May’s new timetables.


The DfT said: “Performance after the May timetable change was unacceptable.”


MPs also said that Transport Secretary Chris Grayling should have been more proactive in preventing the problems.


In a scathing report on May’s timetable changes, the Transport Committee said “genuine change” was needed to restore trust in the railways.


Although Mr Grayling had not been fully informed, this could not absolve him of all responsibility, the MPs said.


It was extraordinary that no-one took charge of the situation, they said.


The DfT decided not to strip GTR – which is 65 per cent-owned by UK transport company Go-Ahead – of the franchise, because it said that would “cause further and undue disruption for passengers, and is not an appropriate course of action”.


But its sanctions on the company mean it will make a reduced profit for the rest of its time in charge.


The DfT said it would continue to monitor the performance of GTR, “particularly during the upcoming December timetable change”.


In the middle of May, passengers suffered delays and cancellations after the biggest timetable change in a generation.


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