Southern Rail’s Chief Exec has admitted that normal service may not be restored for train travellers until the end of 2018.
David Brown, CEO of the Go-Ahead Group, which owns two thirds of Southern Rail (the other third being owned by the French government), admitted to the press: “We’re still discussing issues from June last year. Every timetable change means working through what that means in cost terms. [I can] guarantee that by the end of 2018 — when London Bridge infrastructure is finished and the last timetable change is in place — the major issues should be resolved and people will have a much better service. But it’s still dependent on good industrial relations. Until then, we do believe we can improve things: over the past few weeks, we have operated a decent service with fewer than 20 trains cancelled per day, out of 2,500, which is down from 600 daily cancellations at the height of the industrial issues.”
Shares in the company plummeted 14% at the admission another two years of disruption was likely. The company has already been hit by 29 full days of strikes by unions over the last year, with a full network shutdown for three days in December 2016. There are ongoing talks over the future possibility of further industrial action.
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Author Lex Barber