Oliver's Column in My News - January 2017

I commute daily into London on the Thameslink line. I know from experience, the correspondence I receive and conversations on the platform the intensity of the anger towards Govia Thameslink over their abysmal service.

As your MP I can’t directly control the performance of Govia Thameslink. I do though use my position to convey this frustration and try to understand what has caused it and what can be done to rectify it. 

To this end, before Christmas I met twice with the Transport Secretary. I presented him with a dossier of all the complaints that I have received about the service. They describe horrendous commutes that are frustrated by missed stops, delays and cancellations.

I also relayed the same message to Charles Horton, Chief Executive of Govia Thameslink. Thameslink blame a series of one-off factors such as tragic fatalities and power outages, which has been combined with teething problems with new trains and compounded by the ongoing upgrade at London Bridge.

In the longer term, the Transport Secretary said he was looking at closer integration between the companies that run the service and the providers of rail infrastructure, Network Rail. I think this is a welcome development as it should stop them passing the buck between each other for service delays. 

Equally, he pledged to keep a tight grip on the upgrading of the Thameslink line. When this is completed in 2018 should massively improve the reliability of the service. It should also allow for more fast trains to Borehamwood & Radlett, something for which I have consistently lobbied.

I know that this is of little comfort, particularly in the short term, but they were left in no doubt about the scale and strength of your anger.

  • This article appeared in the January edition of MyRadlett and MyBushey News