London mayor calls for a Transport for London management team to be put in charge of the ‘failing’ Southern service, until problems are resolved

 

sadiq_khanSadiq Khan: ‘There is no doubt that the franchise must now be in default’

 

London mayor Sadiq Khan this week called for a Transport for London management team to take immediate control of the Govia Thameslink Railway’s “failing” Southern operation.

Khan said the TfL team would run Southern Rail until the government is able to resolve the longer term problems that have led to widespread disruption for thousands of commuters – which include a dispute with the RMT union over the introduction of driver-only operation (DOO).

Last week, Govia Thameslink Railway brought in an emergency timetable, with 350 services cancelled a each day. The decision followed months of delays and cancellations to services.

Sadiq Khan believes that TfL is best placed to sort out the problems that he has described as “an embarrassment to our city”.

In a letter to the new secretary of state for transport, Chris Grayling, the mayor said: “Thousands of Londoners and longer distance commuters simply cannot get to and from work, and are understandably furious.

“There is no doubt that the franchise must now be in default, and I have previously called for your department to step in and take control.

“Notwithstanding the wider discussions on devolution, I now offer to go one step further and put my senior TfL team in charge of the GTR Southern franchise until we get a permanent resolution.”

 

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This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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