From the Secretary of State The Rt. Hon. Chris Grayling
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
Tel: 0300 330 3000
Chief Executive Officer
Govia Thameslink Railway Limited
Web site: www.gov.uk/dft
1st and 2nd Floor
24 Monument Street
12 July, 2017
I am writing with regard to poor performance on GTR. Although the recent
Gibb report found the primary cause of disruption was industrial action, which
started in April 2016, my officials have determined that this does not fully
explain the poor service that passengers received.
You lodged a claim of Force Majeure following the start of industrial action.
After a detailed analysis of performance targets between September
2015 and September 2016, my officials have determined that in many cases
Force Majeure does not apply to the number of trains cancelled or the length
of trains in service.
Performance on Southern has improved dramatically since Christmas, as the
disruption from union activity has decreased. But that performance is still not
I know that you accept the need to further improve services for passengers.
In light of this, I am requiring GTR to fund a package of performance and
passenger improvements worth £13.4m.
My department has determined how this money will be used:
• £7m will be put into a fund for DfT to allocate to projects and
improvements that will directly benefit passengers
• £4m will fund 50 on-board supervisors over the next two years (from
January 2018) to improve access to staff for passengers on trains
• The remaining £2.4m will target performance improvements. GTR is
now required to submit a remedial plan under the franchise
agreement. You will shortly be providing performance improvement
proposals for my department to approve.
Passengers who depend on Southern have been badly let down. The union
industrial action that has so often disrupted services is totally unjustified and
must stop now.
But GTR must also do better in providing services to its passengers. When
trains are cancelled unnecessarily it can cause huge disruption. And when
trains are shorter than they ought to be, it can leave already busy services
Your investment in passenger benefits and plans to improve performance for
passengers will be instrumental in making sure your customers receive
reliable and efficient services.
Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR TRANSPORT