Oliver has held urgent meetings with the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, and with Stuart Cheshire, the Passenger Services Director for Govia Thameslink to discuss the massive ongoing disruption to the rail network.
Speaking this morning, Oliver said: ‘It was crucial to meet with the Transport Secretary to impress on him just how serious the damage, frustration and disruption is following the roll out of the new timetable.
‘The Transport Secretary is in no doubt about the scale of the problem and has assured me that he is ready to take whatever steps are necessary, up to and including reviewing the franchise and ensuring the senior leadership of Govia Thameslink pay the price for these failures. There will also be an independent review into the root cause of the massive disruption we have seen.
‘In terms of where we go from here, Govia Thameslink are now rolling out a more limited timetable which will last for the next 5 to 6 weeks and will hopefully be reliable. I agree that this is not good, but hopefully Thameslink users will have some reassurance that the train they plan to take will actually turn up.
‘I also raised with Govia Thameslink the important issue of compensation for the thousands who have been impacted by the disruption. While it will not make up for their appalling service, the plans for a new compensation scheme will be an important step in bringing the service back to normality.
‘As a commuter myself, I know how awful it's been in recent days and for more detail on the Government’s plans, please watch the Secretary of State's statement to the House yesterday.’
Govia Thameslink is the parent company for the Thameslink and Great Northern franchises which serve Borehamwood and Radlett, and Potters Bar respectively.
Major disruption has been affecting both lines since the introduction of a new timetable last month.