MP calls for urgent debate on ‘shambles’ rail service

Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert
Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert

Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert has asked the Leader of the House of Commons (HoC) to schedule an urgent debate on the performance of rail services.

He said in the HoC yesterday (June 7), that the new rail timetable had ‘already disadvantaged his constituents in Hassocks increasing journey times and withdrawing peak time services’.

He added: “The introduction has been a complete shambles with the cancellation and withdrawal of services on a daily basis that continues to disadvantage my constituents.

“Can we have an urgent debate on the abysmal performance of Govia Thameslink Rail and Network Rail so that these organisations can be held to account?”

Leader Andrea Leadsom responded to Mr Herbert and said: “My honourable friend is absolutely right to raise what must be a hugely frustrating experience for his constituents.

“The disruption to Govia Thameslink Railway service has been completely unacceptable and the Secretary of State for Transport has himself apologised for the disruption passengers are experiencing.

“DfT is working round the clock with GTR to stabilise the services, including monitoring ongoing performance and agreeing a revised, more consistent timetable.

“But I do hope that my honourable friend will encourage his constituents to apply for GTR’s delay repay compensation, so that they can get their money back on all affected journeys.”

The MP has also written to the chief operating officer of GTR, Nick Brown, about the timetable changes and said in his letter that it was the ‘final straw’ for his constituents who have spent in excess of £5,000 on season tickets.

He added: “The changes were supposed to lead to ‘significant improvements in capacity and service’ and yet my constituents are regularly reporting journey times that are taking far longer than this.”

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