Select committee chair demands performance answers

 

louise_ellmanLouise Ellman

 

The chair of the parliamentary transport select committee Louise Ellman has criticised the government for its management of the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise and for not making key information available to her committee.

In a letter to rail minister Paul Maynard, Ellman said she was “appalled” that senior officials from the Department for Transport were unable to answer questions in relation to a variety of matters relating to performance at GTR during a hearing on July 20.

Ellman wrote that committee staff have followed this up with a letter to the DfT asking for answers on these four specific performance questions that officials had failed to answer.

“The response from the Department, received on July 26, was unacceptably opaque and failed to answer any of these questions adequately,” she added.

“In general, the response is deeply concerning. It gives the impression that the department’s monitoring of GTR’s franchise agreement is weak, and its lack of transparency undermines proper scrutiny.”

Ellman concluded by asking Maynard and his staff to supply specific data on GTR’s performance against benchmarks and for the date when GTR applied for force majeure in relation to its performance against contractual benchmarks; the basis of the claim and how the DfT analyses any such claim.

 

This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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