Govia de­ci­sion to be made “within weeks”

Rail (UK) - - News -

A de­ci­sion on what (if any) ac­tion to take against Govia Thames­link Rail­way will be made “within a num­ber of weeks”, Sec­re­tary of State for Trans­port Chris Grayling told MPs at the House of Com­mons Trans­port Se­lect Com­mit­tee in­quiry into timetable changes on Oc­to­ber 22.

Grayling said the Depart­ment for Trans­port is “ac­tively con­sid­er­ing [op­tions which in­volve] pe­nal­is­ing GTR. That could in­volve tak­ing the fran­chise away.”

How­ever, if the lat­ter in­ter­ven­tion oc­curred, he added that it would be done on a “legally sound” ba­sis to pro­tect tax­pay­ers’ in­ter­ests.

He also said that he did not want to risk caus­ing fur­ther dis­rup­tion to pas­sen­gers, and that he does not have a team which can im­me­di­ately run the fran­chise.

“Tak­ing away any fran­chise is not a straight­for­ward process, and I would have to be sat­is­fied that in do­ing so we would make things bet­ter and not worse for pas­sen­gers,” he said.

Mak­ing it clear that he had not made a fi­nal de­ci­sion about the op­er­a­tor, should the fran­chise re­main with Govia, Grayling told the com­mit­tee he had “plenty of levers” his team could use.

“There is no ques­tion of get­ting off scot-free,” he said.

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