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Govia Thameslink Railway fined just £5 million for timetabling crisis

GOVIA Thameslink Railway (GTR) was fined just £5 million today for its “awful” handling of last summer’s timetabling crisis.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) said that the company had “failed to provide appropriate, accurate and timely information” on its Thameslink and Great Northern rail services following the chaotic launch of the May 2018 timetable.

However the fine was criticised for not being enough for the eight-week long crisis that saw over 470 trains cancelled by GTR every day.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “This fine is yet another meaningless slap on the wrist for a company that has consistently damaged the lives of passengers and the economy on a colossal scale.

“From cancelling thousands of trains, waging war to get rid of guards, failing disabled passengers and presiding over timetable chaos, this is a failed company operating in Grayling’s failing railway.”

Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald also called the fine “a slap on the wrist” for Govia.

He said: “Passengers endured years of abysmal services even before the timetable chaos and the company should have been stripped of its contract and banned from the railway.

“The fact that Govia Thameslink will continue to profit from passengers and Chris Grayling remains in a job shows there is no accountability for failure on the railway.”

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan told the Star: “I’m not sure that after the fines levied on and then returned to GTR in the past that fining them again is going to give any real recompense to all those passengers in the south-east who suffered on a daily basis from the introduction of a timetable that the company and industry knew — and had been warned — was unworkable.“

GTR chief executive Patrick Verwer said the company was “disappointed” with the fine and was “making significant improvements” to information for passengers.

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