Passenger Voice September 2015: Network Rail performance

28 August 2015

Passengers in the south east have been left feeling frustrated after suffering severe rail disruptions over the past year. The Office of Rail and Roads has found that the Southern and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has been repeatedly missing it’s their punctuality targets.

The Office of Rail and Roads’ (ORR) investigation revealed errors made by Network Rail to be the source of the problem.

ORR found that:

  • Network Rail frequently made mistakes in relation to timetabling
  • there was a lack of communication between Network Rail and train operators, resulting in no understanding of the impact that new timetables would have on passengers.

As a result, ORR issued a £2m fine to Network Rail for disrupting the GTR and Southern services. 

Commenting on the investigation, passenger director David Sidebottom said:

“Passengers up and down the country, especially those in the south east, have been experiencing a poor service on their trains. Passengers expect to have a railway they can depend on.

“We welcome the regulator taking action. What is essential is that the penalty is invested by Network Rail in making an immediate difference for passengers.”

So what’s being done for passengers in the meantime?

We are part of a taskforce set up by rail minister Claire Perry MP to help tackle the disruption in the south east area. The taskforce is focussing on immediate improvements for long-suffering passengers in the region.

As part of this work, we’re developing ways to get instant feedback from passengers. This will sit alongside the twice-yearly National Rail Passenger Survey and will help us to monitor whether improvements are being felt by passengers.


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