Rail Minister Andrew Jones MP has conceded that the implementation of a revised timetable between Moorgate and Welwyn Garden City was “totally unacceptable”.
Grant Shapps, MP for Welwyn Hatfield, secured a Parliamentary debate to pressure the Minister into directly addressing the “chaotic” performance of Govia.
Stations affected include Welham Green, Brookmans Park, Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City.
Mr Jones confirmed that Govia has been ordered to contribute £15million towards “tangible improvements” in addition to the £15million it has already set aside for compensation.
Mr Shapps also received support from fellow MP, Theresa Villiers, whose constituency is served by the same rail line. She asked whether rail firms have “learn[t] lessons” from the May timetable disaster and agreed with Mr Shapps that they should be held to account.
The Rail Minister revealed that Govia would make no profit this financial year and will have its profit capped for the “remaining years of the franchise”.
“This is a good first step, but ultimately I want to see positive change.
“Welwyn Hatfield needs more trains, it needs faster trains, and it needs a service that my constituents can rely on,” said Mr Shapps.
He pushed the Minister to back his bid for Transport for London (TfL) to take over, which would require the Secretary of State giving permission for data sharing between Govia and TfL.
“I have been arguing this for the past two years and now we are within reach of this goal,” he said.
When referring to Grant Shapps, Mr Jones commented “I recognise that he is a very long-standing campaigner on rail for his constituents. I think that his constituents are incredibly well represented”.
The Department for Transport will be following up on a number of issues raised by the Welwyn Hatfield MP.