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

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32,029 - £34,788 per annum
Currently seeking an enthusiastic and experienced individual to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Ugobus Driver (multiple positions)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938 per annum
Please note that we have permanent, fixed term and relief contract opportunities on a part time, job share and flexible working basis. The salary is u England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Principal Transport & Infrastructure Planning Officer

Essex County Council
£52000 - £57570.0 per annum
Please note this is a two year fixed term contract with a potential for extension, subject to budget and workload. Job purpose Calling all transport P England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Food Safety Environmental Health Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 to £42,490
Seeking a highly motivated and experienced Environmental Health Officer to join our busy Food Safety team. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Policy Planner

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£25,327 - £36,486 depending on skills and experience
We have an exciting opportunity within the Spatial and Transport Planning service for 2 x Policy Planner roles... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Highways Inspector

Cambridgeshire County Council
£19,554 - £23,836
Looking for candidates who have experience of highways maintenance and have a sound technical understanding of highways. Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Street Services Recruitment Day

Royal Borough of Greenwich
Competitive Salary
This role involves collecting residents and business wheelie bins and waste containers you will work as... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Assistant Tree Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£25,880 - £27,904
Looking for an assistant tree officer to join a busy Tree Section working with the most up to date arboriculture equipment’s and IT resources.  Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Traffic Officer

Bedford Borough Council
£23,313 - £26,999 per annum
You will work as part of the Highways team providing specialist knowledge and advice on traffic management issues. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Vehicle Technician x2

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,313 - £28,785 per annum
Seeking to recruit two Vehicle Technicians, based at our Waterfall Lane Depot in Cradley Heath. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Senior Design Engineer - Guildford

Surrey County Council
£39,438 - £43,744 per annum
An opportunity has arisen within Surrey County Council's Highway Design & Delivery Team... Guildford, Surrey
Recuriter: Surrey County Council

Environment and Low Carbon Work Package Manager

Essex County Council
£38400 - £42420 per annum
Please note that this position is to be offered on a 3-year, fixed term contract.Interviews likely to be held week commencing 30th September 2019.Esse England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Director of External Operations

Somerset West and Taunton Council
£100,000
Somerset West and Taunton Council has been through a transformation that puts customers at the heart of everything we do. Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset West and Taunton Council

Zero Emissions Network Officer

Tower Hamlets London Borough Council
£33,759 - £34,986
We are looking for an enthusiastic Zero Emissions Network Officer Tower Hamlets, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tower Hamlets London Borough Council

Contract Supervisor

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£31,013 - £36,486 depending on skills, knowledge and experience
The role of Contract Supervisor (Waste and Street Cleansing) will require you to support ambitious plans to provide services for residents Richmond upon Thames, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Flood Risk Manager

Birmingham City Council
£43,662 - £54,574
The role requires the post holder to be the lead professional for the Authority’s Flood Risk Management and drainage function Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Head of Highways & Transport

Lewisham London Borough Council
up to £72,705
As our lead expert on highways and transport, you will set the direction and lead on all transport related matters Lewisham, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Lewisham London Borough Council

Assistant Director

Hounslow London Borough Council
Up to £82k
Working across a wide range of high profile direct services, the emphasis for this role is on partnership working. Hounslow (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Hounslow London Borough Council

Director of Integrated Transport

Liverpool City Region
Salary up to £124,848
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is embarking on a search for an exceptional individual with the passion to deliver on our vision Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Region