Villiers: GTR and Network Rail must get a grip and resolve timetable chaos

Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers has told senior management at Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to sort out delays on the Great Northern line and deliver immediate improvements in rail services in her constituency in Barnet.

The former Rail Minister made the demand when she met Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne and GTR director Stuart Cheshire in separate meetings in Parliament today.

“We had very frank discussions about the issues that have plagued the service for more than two weeks and about what went so badly wrong in preparing the timetables that have caused so much misery for commuters on the Great Northern line and elsewhere,” said Theresa

“I told both Mr Carne and Mr Cheshire to get a grip and work together to get services back on track. They need to ensure that this kind of foul-up does not happen again to my constituents who use New Barnet, Oakleigh Park and New Southgate stations. Commuters are furious about reduced services, cancelled trains and overcrowding, and I wanted to make sure GTR and Network Rail were fully aware of how fed up passengers are."

"GTR and Network Rail gave me assurances that they were doing everything possible to stabilise services and tackle disruption. They predicted an improvement in reliability over the next few days using the reduced timetable which came into effect this morning. I will keep up the pressure on them to deliver this. They must also ensure that the full timetabled service is restored as soon as possible. It’s very worrying that this is still many weeks away.”

Theresa added she welcomed the Transport Secretary’s commitment to offering compensation but urged him to "make it simple to claim and generous in its nature".

She met the Transport Secretary in Parliament yesterday and urged him to bang heads together to ensure the rail industry brings this period of disruption to an end as soon as possible.