Lewes MP Maria Caulfield has called on the Transport Secretary to bring forward plans to breakup Govia Thameslink Railway.
During an urgent statement to the House of Commons Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced plans to bring the East Coast rail line under public control, prompting Maria Caulfield to urge swifter action on the breakup of GTR. GTR which includes Southern Rail is to be split up in 2021 when franchise expires, but Maria Caulfield wants this to be brought forward.
Maria Caulfield MP said in the House of Commons “The Secretary of State mentions the Thameslink and Southern franchise in his statement and the breakup of those franchises in 2021. Could I urge him to bring this breakup sooner rather than later as the new timetable change affects passengers in my rural constituency with stations such as Berwick, Wivelsfield, Seaford, Lewes, Plumpton, Polegate all losing significant services with this new timetable. Could he bring the breakup of this franchise forward?”
Although the Secretary of State did not say whether he would bring forward the breakup of GTR, he did say “If colleagues have individual concerns [regarding the timetable changes] the Rail Minister and I are happy to sit down and talk to them.”
Maria Caulfield MP said “I know that the problems on the rail network and issues with the new timetable are of great concerns to my constituents. This is why I have raised the issue with Ministers in the House of Commons and will be looking to raise concerns about stations in the Lewes constituency with Ministers as soon as possible. Many residents have let me know of their individual concerns and I will be raising them with Ministers and GTR.”