Performance of new South Western Railway franchise to be reviewed

Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, has ordered the investigation following concerns about South Western Railway’s capability since taking over and also that of Network Rail, says MP.

bob seely westminster debate

This in from the office of Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely. Ed

MP Bob Seely has welcomed an independent review into the performance of the new South Western Railway franchise which runs the Island Line.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has ordered the investigation following concerns about SWR’s capability since taking over and also that of Network Rail.

Addressing causes of poor performance
Although significant delays have been caused by Network Rail and not SWR, the minister said SWR is required to invest additional sums into initiatives to address the causes of the poor performance.

Bob said,

“This is a welcome review very much making it clear the Government continues to monitor operating companies’ performance and want to ensure passengers get the service they pay for.

“Islanders and tourists need to know they can get to us either to work or visit and the service needs to be reliable. There have been problems and the causes must be effectively addressed by SWR and Network Rail. I look forward to seeing the findings of the review.”

The review will be independently chaired by Sir Michael Holden, who has over 40 years’ experience in railway operations, and will be completed this summer

Tuesday, 24th April, 2018 1:31pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story, Train

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20 Comments on "Performance of new South Western Railway franchise to be reviewed"

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So Tom blames Dick and Dick blames Harry and Harry blames Tom. What a system – you couldn’t make it up!

Steve Goodman

Also a reminder that a review of Grayling’s performance (generally increasing costs, misery, and disappointment in our troubled transport and justice services) is generally a horrible history of becoming blameworthy, as detailed over the years by Private Eye and others.

Steve Goodman
For example, 1: As widely reported at the end of last month, a National Audit Office report disclosed that Grayling exaggerated the known benefits of new trains as an alternative to cancelled electrification projects previously promised, and was found to have held off on making decisions public until after the General Election and to have made claims about the benefits of his alternative options that could not… Read more »
Steve Goodman
For example, 2: Shortly before Grayling fell foul of the NAO (e.g.1), in February we learned a little more about the continuation of his helpful attitude towards the greedy people he let off last November, saving them (and costing us) over a billion pounds. (From a report in the Guardian)… announcing that Virgin would be granted a further direct award, or contract without competition, to run the… Read more »
Steve Goodman
For example, 3: Back another month now to January, when Grayling responded repeatedly in Parliament and in the media to NAO criticism of his department’s management of rail services by falsely stating that the “vast majority” of disruption to passengers on the troubled Southern train network was caused by the unnecessary action of militant trade unions – until a Channel 4 news FactCheck investigation found that Grayling’s… Read more »
Steve Goodman

Rudd’s recent resignation update reminds us that others remain reluctant to leave.

Steve Goodman

For example, 4:

See Dr B Ching’s report in the current Private Eye (1468, p.16) for the auditor’s evidence that “Grayling is shirking his duty to “ensure that Network Rail is guided and monitored in the public and taxpayer interest”.”

Steve Goodman

For example, 5 (to ?):

The price we are still paying for Grayling’s poor performance while he had responsibility for prisons probation and courts until replacement Michael Gove was moved in and given the task of trying to unpick at least some of the damage done.

Steve Goodman
For example, 6: Today’s (May 1st) sketch by John Crace, reporting on yesterday’s Parliamentary proceedings in the Guardian, entitled “Crisis management plumbs new depths as Tories roll out Grayling” – With Operation Save Amber finally derailed after two weeks of fire-fighting the former home secretary’s failing memory – by the weekend she couldn’t even remember what targets she was meant to have forgotten – the Tory party’s… Read more »
Steve Goodman
For example, 7: His latest embarrassing contribution to the Government’s ‘Windrush’ scandal (e.g.6) is a reminder of another of Grayling’s many failings during the time he had the opportunity to damage our justice system. (From a Dec. 2014 Telegraph report) “Government guidance in relation to the granting of legal aid for immigration cases has been ruled unlawful by Court of Appeal judges. Earlier this year, the High… Read more »
Steve Goodman

For example, 8:

The latest Private Eye (1469, p.16) features both Grayling’s “expertise in misleading” and his apparent admission that rail deals don’t need to work “for passengers or rail-freight customers”.

Steve Goodman
For example, 9: For over four centuries our Lord Chancellors had legal backgrounds and/ or expertise, until Grayling was appointed in 2012, when he started disappointing those of us who who genuinely care about the importance of the fair and safe administration of justice; he stayed there until three years ago, since when four other Con. MPs have had the Justice Secretary job. One of Grayling’s most… Read more »
Steve Goodman

For example, 10; “As the east-coast franchise crashes for the third time, transport secretary Chris Grayling is determined that evidence won’t influence his plan to privatise the service yet again.”

(The opening sentence of the latest Private Eye ‘Signal Failures’ section (issue 1471, p.16), which goes on to explain why.)

Steve Goodman
For example, 11: Wow; as was widely reported last week, failing Grayling didn’t do very well in the House, did he? (A lot more bad news, badly delivered by the bloke responsible, about our pointlessly, inefficiently and expensively fragmented franchised failing rail ‘service’, and more bad news about aggravating our illegally poisonous air quality with the highly controversial airport expansion at Heathrow so opposed by ‘bulldozer’ Boris… Read more »
Steve Goodman

For example, 12; Today’s officially recognised “mess” made by Failing Grayling’s expensive and dangerous interference to part-privatise our Probation Service, as now reported by the cross party justice committee led by the Conservative MP Robert Neill (following years of reporting by Private Eye and others).

Steve Goodman

For example, 13; lucky Grayling last week narrowly survived a no-confidence motion in parliament over his ability to carry out his current role as transport secretary, following the rail timetable fiasco. Unsurprisingly, very few of his fellow Tories rallied to his defence.

Steve Goodman
Grayling and our government’s approach to meeting the most recent climate crisis conference obligations include cancellation of some promised clean-up rail electrification and giving the go-ahead to the undesirable dirty Heathrow expansion. “Chris Grayling has mismanaged our railways into chaos. The UK has some of the most expensive fares in Europe, while services get worse and worse. And now he has pledged billions of taxpayers’ money for… Read more »
Steve Goodman
Steve Goodman
Today we see the reports of how BS’s colleague failing Grayling has infuriated fellow cons MP Tom Tugendhat and the tory councillors on one of the emerging brexit front lines by apparently reneging on his assurances that there were no plans to concrete over more Kent countryside to cater for lots of lorry drivers unduly delayed by the drama. And the reports of failing Grayling’s foolish mistaken… Read more »
Steve Goodman
Remaining fans of failing Grayling are presumably also quietly incandescent about the recent reporting (eg on p. 16 of current Private Eye 1480) of the Office of Rail and Road inquiry into the hugely disruptive and expensive Thameslink timetable fiasco, which found that his repeated insistence that he is not blameworthy is disproved by his “tardy” and “dithering” delay of final approval as DfT secretary of state… Read more »