Following my text to the Transport Secretary with the screenshot of all the cancelled WGC trains (see my twitter/facebook), he met with Govia Great Northern yesterday afternoon. I then met with the Transport Secretary and we discussed the following:
- He has demanded that the timetable be stabilised by 15th July in order to bring the Welwyn Hatfield service back to regularity.
- However, if this does not happen, then he will begin the steps to forcibly remove Govia’s franchise.
- With the May timetable change intended to add 7,000 carriages (and therefore a lot of extra trains to the network), I simply will not settle for fewer and slower services to/from Welwyn Hatfield.
- Ministers agree that they will therefore work to bring our full service back to pre-May levels.
- A compensation scheme will provide ONE-MONTH of free travel to my constituents. I made the point that plenty of people work part-time and/or don’t travel each day. The Secretary of State agreed that the scheme would therefore be extended to cover those who travel 3+ days a week.
- I want our service to WGC to become a London Overground line, run by Transport for London. I will work with MPs along the line to fight for a more integrated service, more trains and Oyster. The planning will have to start next year, with the new service in place 2021.
The situation today was once again completely intolerable. Constituents were sending me photos from rammed stations, including Welwyn Garden City, while I picked up my kids from the station with cancelled trains to drive them to school (late), with one of them having exams.
It’s simply unbelievable that rail bosses earn enormous sums of money to run our railways and have made such a hash of it. One has resigned, another though is still collecting his CBE, which dishonours the honours system!
Follow my facebook and twitter for daily updates on the situation. And don’t hesitate to get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org