Franchise holder Go-Ahead has revealed figures that suggest £50m in lost revenue, in addition to £15m already set aside for ‘hardship’ compensation




The industrial dispute by guards and drivers on the Southern network is estimated to have cost the Department for Transport a total of £65m since June – and with no sign of a resolution this figure looks set to rise in 2017.

In a statement published last week, Go-Ahead Group estimated that revenue at its Govia Thameslink Railway franchise, which includes Southern, will be 4% lower in the six months to the end of December than in 2015, with a 2% drop in patronage. The falls are due to ongoing industrial action by guards on the Southern network, plus the series of drivers’ strikes in December.

With revenue at the group’s neighbouring Southeastern franchise up 2.5%, the figures suggest that industrial action over the six months has cost the DfT around £50m in lost revenue payments. The revenue loss comes on top of the £15m in ‘hardship’ compensation DfT has committed to pay Southern season ticket holders (PT149).

Go-Ahead also said measures taken to assist customers during industrial action had further increased GTR’s costs over the past two months. Analysts at Jeffreys, a city broker, estimated that GTR would take a £3m hit as a result. GTR made no profit in the six months to June.

Three days of strike action by drivers union ASLEF on December 13-16 saw all 2,242 Southern trains cancelled and a lower frequency Gatwick Express service. This action has been supplemented by additional strikes by the RMT union, with further action planned for January.


This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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