Southern/GTR debacle to cost Government £38m

 

The ongoing Southern/Govia Thameslink Railways (GTR) debacle could cost the taxpayer £38m this financial year, enough to repair more than 700,000 potholes.

The cash includes £4.7m paid in compensation to passengers for poor services, through the Delay Repay scheme, which the Government also has to pay out of its own pocket under the franchise deal with GTR.

”Local
Rail minister Paul Maynard

The news comes as ministers stall on a decision over the future of the franchise, which could see the company stripped of its contract in the light of fierce criticism from both passengers and MPs. 

In a letter to Louise Ellman MP, chair of the Commons Transport Select Committee, rail minister Paul Maynard set out ‘the impact of poor performance and the revised timetable on farebox and total revenue’ on the GTR franchise, which includes Southern Rail.

Mr Maynard wrote: ‘Due to unofficial industrial action on GTR, it is difficult to accurately assess the full impact of ongoing poor performance and the revised timetable on revenue. However, GTR has estimated that the likely combined impact since the start of Rail Period 1 on 1 April 2016, will be in the region of £38m for this financial year.’

GTR confirmed that this figure represented a projection up to the end of the financial year, suggesting that it expects operational difficulties and industrial action to continue.

The figure represents a loss to the Department for Transport (DfT) as the Government bears the revenue risk under the unique GTR management contract, including the compensation payments.

Mr Maynard said GTR had advised the DfT that 'official industrial action called by RMT has resulted in an £8.4m loss of farebox revenue up to the end of Rail Period 7 on 15 October 2016'.

With the company in breach of its obligations on reliability, its retention of the franchise appears to depend on its claim of force majeure (exceptional circumstances), which includes arguing that high sickness levels by RMT conductors represent ‘unofficial industrial action’, in the long-running dispute over the company’s attempt to change their role. 

Last month the Transport Committee said that if the DfT finds GTR in default, it ‘must take the opportunity to restructure or terminate the agreement and deliver services in a more effective way for passengers’.

In an earlier letter to Ms Ellman, Mr Maynard stated that the process of assessing the claim was ‘expected to be completed by mid-November’.  

However, a  DfT spokesman told Transport Network on Monday: ‘The DfT is currently considering GTR’s claim that poor performance has been due to factors outside of the operator's control. This involves an analysis of a large amount of complex data. We will respond in due course.’

 

Also see

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

Highways Estimator

Ringway
Competitive Salary
As the Highways Estimator you will join a busy environment and become an integral part of the team. Hounslow (London Borough), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Ringway

County Highways Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Seeking a highly motivated leader and an excellent communicator, who has a proven ability to build relationships and trust, leading by example. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Local Highways Manager (East) - Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council
G12 £43,662 - £50,430
Seeking someone who combines excellent technical knowledge with a dedication to the customer. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director (Planning, Regeneration & Transport)

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£87,791 per annum  
This is an exciting time to join Rotherham and make a real difference. We are looking for an outstanding Assistant Director who will bring... Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Corporate Director

Islington London Borough Council
Up to £135k
You will share our values and be passionate about helping us shape the Islington of the future. Islington, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Islington London Borough Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
Looking for strong team players interested in working with a variety of professional and community partners across Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Junior Energy Manager Apprentice

Brent Council
£15,000 p.a. inc.
The right person for this job will be pro-active and innovative in finding a way forward. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Career Grade Drainage Engineer

Swindon Borough Council
£19,092 to £40,680 p.a
Working in the asset management team, you’ll support the work of the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and Highways Authority. Swindon, Wiltshire
Recuriter: Swindon Borough Council

Highway Construction Project Manager

Brent Council
£50,442 - £53,526 p.a. inc.
We are looking for an accomplished highway construction project manager to support the delivery of two high priority highway schemes. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Traffic Signals & UTMC Manager

Bristol City Council
£42,683 - £45,591
Looking for someone with proven management experience, enthusiasm, creativity, vision and good communication skills. City of Bristol
Recuriter: Bristol City Council

Principal Highways Project Engineer

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£34,106 - £35,229 per annum
The post holder will be responsible for project managing the delivery of two highway projects on the Key Route Network. Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Traffic Schemes Officer

Oxfordshire County Council
£22,021 - £29,636 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to play a central role with the Traffic Team in the maintenance of the highway network... Kidlington, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Traffic Engineer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£29,055 to £30,756
This is an exciting opportunity to join Telford & Wrekin Council’s Traffic Management Team! Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Assistant Engineer – Traffic Regulation

Telford & Wrekin Council
£23,866 to £25,463
This is an exciting opportunity to join Telford & Wrekin Council’s Traffic Management Team. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Environment Officer

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£29,909 – £32,233 Grade 11 - £33,136 - £35,229
All Environment Officers lead, project manage and/or co-ordinate large environmental projects... Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways Quantity Surveyor

Leicester City Council
£30,756 - £33,136 pro-rata per annum
Working in the Highways Maintenance Group, you will be responsible for the operational highway maintenance activities Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicester City Council

Highways Engineer/Inspector

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22956 - £32637 per annum
Highways Engineer/Inspector - PermanentThere are plenty of reasons to take a closer look at Royal Greenwich.Royal Greenwich is undergoing a huge trans England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Senior Project Engineer

Derbyshire County Council
Grade 13 £39,867 - £43,282 per annum
Derbyshire County Council is looking for an enthusiastic, enterprising and experienced laboratory manager Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Engineer - Bridges

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
We have a vacancy for a Structures Engineer working within the Bridge’s team! Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
You will be required to lead the delivery of a wide range of highway improvements and maintenance projects... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council