Hundreds of local residents have contacted me to express their concerns about both the current performance of local train services run by Southeastern, Southern and Thameslink (the latter two collectively run by Govia Thameslink Railway), as well as proposals from Govia Thameslink Railway which would see key services via West Dulwich and Sydenham Hill withdrawn altogether in 2018.
Please help me in campaigning on this issue by sharing your experience of using local train services here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DaWNRailFail
I have written to Charles Horton, the Chief Executive of GTR, on behalf of local residents on a number of occasions to raise the impact that the unacceptable level of service is having on local residents. I have also written repeatedly to Paul Maynard MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport and his predecessor, to call for the Government to set out what steps they are taking to hold GTR, and the associated franchises, to account.
I am a founding member of the newly formed All Party Parliamentary Group on Southern Rail and have signed an Early Day Motion which urges the Government to strip GTR of its franchises as soon as possible. In my view suburban rail services should be transferred to Transport for London (TfL) to run, and I recently called for this during a debate in Southern Rail in the House of Commons, setting out the impact that the current failures are having on my constituents. You can watch my contribution here: http://tinyurl.com/HHSouthernRail1216 TfL has a proven track record and much higher levels of customer satisfaction. I am dismayed that the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has indicated that he does not wish the transfer to TfL to happen, particularly as a leaked letter indicates that this is for narrow partisan reasons. I have written to Theresa May to insist that this issue must be considered again by the government given that Mr Grayling has clearly prejudged the issue.
The current situation is completely untenable. Please be assured that I will continue to campaign on a cross-party basis alongside other MPs from London and the South-East for change to be introduced to our rail services as a matter of urgency.