Perry keeps faith, despite Tories slamming 'abysmal' Southern

 

Rail minister Claire Perry has backed Southern Railway to improve after two fellow Conservative MPs demanded that ministers take action over its recent poor performance.

Chris Philp, MP for Croydon South, said Southern’s recent performance was ‘absysmal’ and called for the franchise of which it is part to be removed from the current holder Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and broken up.

”Local
London's Victoria Station

Fellow Tory Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes, quoted figures showing that 2,274 trains on the Southern franchise were cancelled between 25 April and 23 May.

She said: ‘Despite repeated attempts by MPs across Sussex to ask Southern Rail to improve their services, this month sees the worst performance to date with figures showing Southern and Thameslink being the worst performing operators.

‘My constituents can take no more and are fed up with cancellations, late running trains, strikes and early terminations. I have asked to meet with the rail minister as a matter of urgency.’

Ms Perry acknowledged that passengers are frustrated ‘and aren’t always getting the service they deserve’.

She said: ‘I’ve been clear that Southern must continue to work hard to ensure they provide a reliable service free from disruption.’

However, she added: ‘The operator is making improvements that will benefit passengers, including training more new drivers and introducing new state-of-the-art Gatwick Express trains on Southern routes, but this will take time.

‘We’re are closely monitoring progress and remain fully committed to working with Southern to get this railway back to high performance.’

GTR said a high level of sickness absence amongst conductors was currently causing significant disruption to its services on the Southern franchise, with 1,066 days of conductor absence in the last 32 working days.

The company said the rate of absence has more than doubled since the first strike by conductors on 26 April over the issue of driver only operation.

In addition to the current industrial action by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, the company faces further strikes after members of the drivers’ union ASLEF voted overwhelmingly for industrial action on the same issue.

On Tuesday GTR applied for a court injunction to prevent ASLEF members taking action, claiming that its vote was invalid. A decision is expected next week.

As Tory MPs criticised both the size and execution of the GTR franchise, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced that the Department for Transport (DfT) has published its refreshed programme for rail franchising.

In a statement to Parliament, he said: ‘[The DfT] is making it clear to the whole rail industry that competition for rail franchises is the best way to secure services for passengers at good value for the taxpayer.’

In 2014, when ministers announced the award of tthe seven year franchise to GTR, they said it would ‘transform travel across London and the South East’.

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Part Time Community Rail Partnership Officer

Essex County Council
£24000 - £26275 per annum + Plus Excellent Benefits Package
Please note that this position is being offer on a part time basis, covering 23 hours per week. Working Pattern TBC. England, Essex, Rochford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Development Management Engineer

North Yorkshire County Council
£24,313 to £34,788
To be successful you must... Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Highways Inspector

Hackney London Borough Council
£28,752 - £32,577
We are seeking an experienced Highways Inspector to join the Highways Team. Hackney, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Hackney London Borough Council

Environmental Health Officer and Grad EHO – Private Sector Housing with benefits* x 2

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 - £42,490
We have an exciting opportunity for two organised and enthusiastic Environment Health Officers  or a qualified graduate working towards their... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Ugobus Driver x 7 positions

Essex County Council
Up to £18938.0 per annum
Please note that this is a 6 month fixed term contract on a part time basis. Working hours will be discussed at interview. The salary is up to £18,938 England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Highways Engineer

Rutland County Council
£29,636 - £31,371 per annum
Do you enjoy getting outdoors in the course of your work? Rutland
Recuriter: Rutland County Council

Senior Highways Manager

Rutland County Council
£47,544 to £51,138
This is the lead role for our Highways service with a remit to... Rutland
Recuriter: Rutland County Council

Road Safety Assistant (Cycling)

London Borough of Bexley
£13,947.32 - £14,713.97, per annum
You will be an enthusiastic individual who can effectively communicate with children and adults. Bexleyheath, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Key Route Network Manager

Liverpool City Region
£63,753 - £71,747
An exciting new opportunity has arisen within the Integrated Transport Directorate of the LCR Combined Authority Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Region

Medium/Heavy Vehicle Mechanic - January 2020

North West Leicestershire District Council
You could earn up to £28,785 + 0.75 hours per week plain time overtime
Tasks will include preparation for DVSA annual examination, servicing, general and defect generated repairs, fault finding including diagnostic tests. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Senior Engineer (Co-ordinator) - 2 jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£22,462 - £29,636 + £2000 Market Rate Supplement
The role is in the Highway Network Management & Co-ordination (HNMC) Team, which is part of Operational Services. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Surface Water Engineer

Essex County Council
£30001.0 - £35350 per annum
At Essex County Council, we're passionate about helping deliver economic growth, the best starts in life and the chance to age well for people in the England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Highways Operations Manager

Swindon Borough Council
Salary up to £41,494 p.a.
In this key role, you will plan, organise, co-ordinate and control the workforce Swindon, Wiltshire
Recuriter: Swindon Borough Council

Director Neighbourhood & Enforcement

Telford & Wrekin Council
Cicra 89k
Telford and Wrekin is a great place to live, work, visit and do business. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Senior Engineer (Highways Maintenance Design)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£22,462 - £29,636
Are you looking for an opportunity to work as a Senior Engineer, whilst still being able to develop your career and have a good work-life balance? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways Projects Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£33,153 - £35,755
Looking for strong team players interested in working with a variety of professional and community partners across Cambridgeshire and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Senior Heating Engineer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
Up to £48,692 per annum
Looking for a Senior Heating Engineer who will work as part of one of the small professional teams. London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Lead Practitioner (Infrastructure)

Newark & Sherwood District Council
£33,799 to £35,934 per annum
Newark and Sherwood is looking to recruit to its newly created post of Lead Practitioner for Infrastructure. Newark, Nottinghamshire
Recuriter: Newark & Sherwood District Council

Senior Parking Manager

Brent Council
£55,638 - £58,779 p.a. inc.
As Senior Parking Manager, you will be responsible for the effective management of the Council’s Parking Services contract Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

School Crossing Patrol

Brent Council
£21,591 - £22,377 p.a. inc. pro rata. (£11.50 per hour)
A school crossing patrol officer is responsible for assisting children to cross the road safely on their way to and from school. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council