Peter Lilley met executives from the Govia Great Northern to discuss their future plans and repeated delays over the last few months and to convey the discontent of passengers from Hitchin and Harpenden.
“I have received anguished complaints from constituents since the autumn about the poor service provided on the local network,” said Peter. “Yesterday, along with other local MPs I met senior managers from Govia – who took over the running of this service last September – to try to get to the bottom of this issue and urge them to find solutions as quickly as possible.
“Govia showed that their performance (in terms of the percentage of trains arriving at their terminating station on time) on Great Northern since they took over in Sept 2014 has been somewhat better than the corresponding period last year. However, it was still much below that of the months preceding their franchise. I expressed amazement that performance during winter months should be so affected by seasonal factors like leaves on the line: in the 21st Century it must be possible to find technological solutions to these predictable problems.”
“As far as the far more serious problems, which have beset the Thameslink line: The recent flooding problems, which are the responsibility of publicly owned Network Rail have apparently now been resolved. The other major problem has been the shortage of drivers and need to retrain them for forthcoming route changes. They assured me the shortage is being progressively reduced by a vigorous recruitment program but will not be entirely eliminated, because of time needed for training, until January 2016.