MP Nadine rails against new Govia train franchise

New trains for the Thameslink route. PNL-141118-091930001
New trains for the Thameslink route. PNL-141118-091930001

The performance of train operator Govia has come under attack as complaints about its Thameslink line soar.

Mid Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries yesterday called on the Secretary of State for Transport to investigate failings by Govia, which took over the franchise running trains through her constituency into London.

She says since the operator took the helm in September, she has received repeated complaints from commuters from Harlington and Flitwick about cancelled trains, rude staff and poor communication.

Customers have described the company as shambolic.

Ms Dorries intends to host a meeting in Parliament with MPs whose constituents have been affected and Govia management, who will be called on to explain its poor record so early in the franchise.

She said: “A great many of my constituents rely on Govia Thameslink to commute into London.

“At the very least the inability of this company to perform effectively is causing hours of misery during long journeys. At worst it is putting jobs and livelihoods at risk.”

She added: “It seems incredible commuters long for the days of First Capital Connect, which I don’t think anyone imagined they would say in their lifetime.”

A Govia Thameslink spokesman said: “We apologise sincerely for delays which have been an issue for both ourselves and Network Rail.

“Some of the problems Thameslink has caused have been in the two track section of central London which have had a big impact on the service and our passengers.

“Congestion on the Brighton section of the route, exacerbated by improvement work at London Bridge, has also hit Thamselink north services.

“A number of temporary speed restrictions north of St Pancras has also regularly delayed us.

“It isn’t good enough and we are looking at our own operations and working with Network Rail as well to address reliability.”