THE boss of failed rail operators Southern Railway and Thameslink whinged today that the companies face paying out “millions” in compensation to passengers they let down during the chaotic introduction of disastrous new timetables.
Operators’ chief executive David Brown said tens of thousands of customers affected by the bungled changes in May were being contacted with offers of compensation. The new timetables led to widespread cancellations and delays.
Company Go-Ahead owns the operators, and also has the Great Northern and South Eastern rail franchises.
Mr Brown said rail privateers were “mortified” by the disruption, but blamed a “systemic industry failure” for the shambles.
Despite the timetable disaster, annual results revealed Go-Ahead notched up a 6.5 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £145.7 million for the year to June 30, sending share values soaring by 16 per cent.
Of the widespread cancellations and delays Mr Brown said: “It was a systemic industry failure and the biggest timetable change for a generation.
“We are all mortified by it, but we are getting it right now.”
The group's Thameslink and Great Northern services were worst affected, with eight weeks of disruption, but there were cancellations and delays across the industry.
Rail union RMT general secretary Mick Cash dismissed Mr Brown’s whines.
He said: “Passengers don’t want to have to grovel to greedy train companies for a few quid in compensation. They want publicly owned railways under public control free from these spivs.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.