COMMONS

MPs scrutinise rail timetable changes

09 July 2018

The Transport Committee is calling for written evidence about the scale and impact of the May 2018 timetabling changes.

Inquiry background

May 2018 saw the biggest six-monthly timetable change on record, with 40,000 changes scheduled, more than four times the usual number. This was largely due to the scale of changes necessary to implement the Thameslink programme in London and, to a lesser extent, the Great North Rail project in the North West.

The May changes led to severe disruption on a substantial proportion on the network, particularly on Northern services and parts of Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR) huge franchise in London. 

Send us your views

The Committee is keen to receive written evidence from passenger groups and industry stakeholders about what went wrong and how to put it right.

Deadline for written submissions is Wednesday 5 September 2018.

Committee's actions and future activity

The Committee has already taken evidence from train operating companies and Network Rail on 18 June. On Monday 9 July the Committee is taking evidence from experts appointed to advise on the introduction of additional Thameslink Services. Evidence sessions with passenger watchdogs, the Department for Transport and others will be announced in due course.

The Committee is also planning further activities, including use of its social media accounts, to capture individual passengers' experiences, and how the timetable changes have affected their day to day lives.

Chair's comment

Chair of the Transport Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP, said:

"As if passengers had not been suffering enough with high fares and varying levels of service, the May 2018 timetable change caused additional upset and distress.

Our inquiry aims to unpick what went wrong and where responsibility falls and consider how the industry can put things right. What are the key lessons and who needs to learn them? We have already taken evidence from Northern, GTR and Network Rail and are holding a further session on Monday with the Thameslink 2018 Industry Readiness Board.

Before we look at steps taken to improve the situation and compensation, we want to hear the experiences of passengers themselves. I strongly encourage them to engage with us via the Committee’s Twitter account or submit written evidence to our inquiry."

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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