Henry Smith MP holds public meeting with rail operator

Henry Smith MP has thanked Crawley rail passengers for attending a meeting he organised yesterday evening (Thursday, 25th August) with representatives from Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), operator of Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services.
 
The meeting was attended by Dyan Crowther, Chief Operating Officer of Govia Thameslink Railway, Eddie Toase, Station Group Manager at Southern Railway, and Paul Rutter, Network Rail area director.
 
Speaking after the meeting at St Wilfrid’s Secondary School in Crawley, Henry said;
 
“I’m grateful to Crawley residents, who like me have endured months of disruption on Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services, for spending the evening joining me in holding the rail operator to account.
 
“Questions were asked of GTR and Network Rail in a robust but respectful manner – I’ll continue to follow up with the company on the matters raised; something I’ve already started this morning.
 
“We were given some answers, but not full answers. I remain concerned with how the company is operating and providing their service, but the trade unions have a responsibility not to take advantage of the situation by taking strike action which makes our journeys even more unbearable.
 
“Considering the continuing disruption we’re enduring, rail fares for Southern passengers shouldn’t be going up. I’m also continuing to raise with Ministers the issue of compensation; when the new Rail Minister came to Crawley last month I reminded him of the strength of feeling among Crawley commuters on this matter. I continue to pursue the issue of a fairer and more transparent system.”
 
Henry also spoke about the Adjournment Debate he has secured in the House of Commons on Monday, 12th September, entitled ‘Govia Thameslink Rail Service’;
 
“I can confirm that I’ll be leading a debate in the Commons on 12th September on the service being provided by GTR.
 
“During the parliamentary recess I’ve been in touch with other MPs from around the region; we’re looking forward to not only raising issues surrounding GTR and the unions, but to continue to press the Government and hold Ministers to account.”