Bulletin - Govia Thameslink Railway public meeting

Henry Smith MP, Bulletin, Govia Thameslink Railway public meeting

Govia Thameslink Railway public meeting, Thursday 25th August

I am writing to invite you to a public meeting I am organising for us to hold Govia Thameslink Railway (who operate Southern Rail, Thameslink and Gatwick Express trains) to account, following the unacceptable level of service currently being provided.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, 25th August 2016, from 7.00pm to 8.30pm in the Sports Hall at St. Wilfrid’s Secondary School, Old Horsham Road, Southgate, Crawley, West Sussex RH11 8PG.

While myself and other MPs continue to raise this issue in Parliament, and with the Government, rail operator and trade unions, it is vitally important that the rail operator management hear directly from people that their service is inconveniencing on a daily basis.

I recently met with the new Rail Minister at Three Bridges Station, and he was left in no uncertain terms about my views on this untenable situation. I have also made representations with the new Secretary of State for Transport.

Recently, GTR executives and the RMT union leadership appeared in front of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee. Ahead of this I wrote to the Committee to pass on a selection of correspondence from Crawley commuters outlining our experiences, our frustrations and our concerns with the network, to be passed to the MPs looking into rail services.

I am also involved with the new All-Party Parliamentary Group on Southern Rail; it is always reassuring to see politicians of all sides working together – the Group is co-chaired by one Conservative and one Labour MP.

Myself, my family, and members of my parliamentary staff have all been caught in disruption on numerous occasions in recent weeks and months – I am well aware that the current situation is not acceptable, and that the recent RMT strike only compounded our misery once again.

I continue to call on both GTR management and the trade unions to put their efforts into resolving the dispute and improving services for passengers, rather than simply attacking each other.

Please be assured of my ongoing attention on this matter, and I hope to see you at the meeting on Thursday, 25th August.

To allow me to have an idea of numbers, I would be grateful if you would let me know if you will be attending.

As ever, please do not hesitate to let me know if I am able to assist.

With my best wishes

Henry