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Campaigners respond to new Southern Rail report and lessons must be learnt

22nd June 2017

Campaign for Better Transport responds to a new independent report on the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) Franchise

Chris Gibb's report to the Department for Transport (DfT) looks at the issues affecting Southern Rail’s performance and advises how improvements to rail services can be made across the whole GTR franchise.

Lianna Etkind, Public Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport said:

"After months of delay, the Gibb report has important lessons for the Government, and implications not just for Southern passengers, but for other franchises too. Notably, there's a concerning suggestion that the Government may have encouraged a bid with the fewest drivers. More needs to be done to ensure that supply of drivers meets the demand.

"Gibb recommends that improvements, including long-delayed upgrades to Victoria station and installing better station shelters, need to be fast-tracked; and the the East-Croydon to Milton Keynes line should be transferred to TfL control. He also rightly points out that current measures of train delay on the GTR network are not up to the job and need to properly weight how delays affect passengers. The Government needs to act on this, ensuring that there are much stronger financial incentives for GTR to deliver a decent service. Furthermore, as the report proposes, the absurdly complicated fares structure must be simplified, including introducing single-leg pricing and carnets for flexible workers. While a priority for Southern, these are steps which we would like to see rolled out to all franchises over the next few years."

"The task before the Government now is to get Southern performance back on track as soon as possible and to ensure that all future franchises do much, much more to incentivise quality and passengers' experience.”

For further information please contact:

Richard Watkins, Press Officer, at Campaign for Better Transport on 020 7566 6494 / 07984 773468 or richard.watkins@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to Editors 

  • Read Chris Gibb's independent report to the DfT on the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) Franchise here
  • Read the Government's response here
  • Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).