Transport User Voice – October 2016 – A brighter future for Southern commuters?

26 September 2016

Southern and Thameslink passengers can see what the future holds once disruptive rebuilding work has finished.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is consulting on a major timetable change for 2018 that will affect Thameslink, Southern, Gatwick Express and Great Northern routes. Find out more here.

We welcomed the publication of these plans. We think passengers will be pleased to see that the work is expected to deliver an ambitious level of service. It is right that they are given the chance to comment on it, in plenty of time for their feedback to be taken into account.

However it is natural that many will be cynical about whether this new timetable is deliverable given the ongoing performance issues that they are experiencing – so it absolutely must be realistic.

Southern passengers, in particular, have had a very difficult few months. Click to read more about the issues and our work to help resolve things, including our travel diary app for instant feedback.

We are supporting a new hit squad set up to tackle performance issues.  The new project board is to deliver ‘rapid’ improvements:
– led by former Virgin boss Chris Gibb
– with a £20m fund for improvements
– includes the train operator, the Department for Transport and Network Rail
– will also be attended by a passenger ‘representative’.

We have already met Chris Gibb and will continue to offer information and support to help get things back to ‘business as usual’.

Researchers are out and about asking people to take part in our National Rail Passenger Survey. The work ends in November, and is published early in 2017, giving a large-scale snapshot of passenger experiences to sit alongside the travel diary work we have been doing.


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