MP’s fury after rail bosses say they are too busy to meet suffering commuters

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North East Beds MP Alistair Burt has hit out at rail bosses after they rejected an invitation to a public meeting with his constituents.

Following the ongoing disruption to train services, since the introduction of the new timetable in May, Mr Burt invited Network Rail and Govia Thameslink to a public meeting in the constituency.

He believed the meeting would enable those responsible to hear first-hand the significant impact the disruption is having on passengers’ lives.

But Passenger Services Director at GTR, Stuart Cheshire said: “I’m sorry we do not have the resources to attend a public meeting as all our efforts are focused on running and refining the service plan for the interim period to restore stability for our passengers.”

Mr Burt said: “The situation with GTR services serving my constituents remains wholly unacceptable. I have many constituents sending us live information and records of their weeks – it is untenable situation. I have repeatedly made clear to GTR that the interim timetable is unstable and not working causing huge distress to commuters and travellers. I have received the usual pointless apologies and excuses.

“I remain in touch with Ministers, who are examining whether the train companies have breached their contractual obligations, and if so what enforcement action will be taken against them. The Office for Rail and Road’s independent inquiry has been launched, and eligibility criteria will be announced shortly for a special compensation scheme for affected passengers.

“I am appalled that Thameslink are refusing to meet with my constituents, and I will continue to press them.

“I am under no illusions about the devastating impact this is having on constituents, and I am appalled that organisations like GTR and Network Rail can have been so ill prepared for this new timetabling system.“