Rail franchises operators & contracts

18.05.18

Every single service affected by major GTR timetable shakeup

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) will change the times of every single service as part of its Rail Plan 20/20 programme.

In order to run an additional 400 trains every day, the TOC will transform its entire timetable, starting from this Sunday, 20 May.

Following the shakeup, GTR will run a train every 24 seconds, enabling an additional 50,000 passengers to be carried into London during the morning peak time.

The GTR network accounts for almost a quarter of UK rail journeys, and the expansion means that 80 more stations will have direct services to central London stations.

However, the train operator has admitted that there is likely to be some disruption to services over the coming weeks. It has also said that many trains will start and terminate at different stations.

Some existing routes will see a reduced service initially, with this decreasing as trains are moved into place.

The full service is expected to run across all routes from 11 June.

Charles Horton, chief executive of GTR, said: “We are introducing the biggest ever change to a rail timetables to significantly boost capacity on the UK’s most congested network. We don’t want passengers to get caught out and so we strongly advise them to look up the times of their trains as they will find that from 20 May each and every one of them has changed.

“Due to the sheer scale of the changes, we will have to redeploy a large number of trains and crews and services may not run at normal times during the introductory phase, although the impact on peak time services during the transition will be minimal.”

He called the introduction of the new timetable a “major milestone in the delivery of RailPlan 20/20.”

But rail union RMT has warned that the new timetable will have “disastrous consequences”.

Its general secretary, Mick Cash, said: “The planned new timetable on GTR will place massive additional strains on infrastructure and staffing levels that are already struggling to cope with current capacity.

“The company are winging it with potentially disastrous consequences. RMT has warned repeatedly about the pressure on the central core through the middle of London which is crucial to the delivery of these plans.”

The union has also called the new timetable a “disgusting insult to disabled people,” due to a line in the latest instructions to GTR staff regarding persons of reduced mobility (PRM), which reportedly reads: “Do not attempt to place PRM on train if there is a possibility of delaying the service.”

Cash said: “They are introducing a policy which effectively means disabled people will not be assisted onto the train and allowed to travel. This is outrageous and flies in the face of their Disabled People’s Protection Policy which requires them to ensure assistance is available.”

 

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