Latest Rail News

06.01.17

Commuters close to taking government to court over Southern crisis

A commuter organisation looking to take the DfT to court over its handling of the Southern rail crisis have said that their legal challenge is almost ready.

The Association of British Commuters (ABC) hopes to submit its full application calling for a judicial review by the end of this month, after initially raising funds for the challenge on the website CrowdJustice last September.

The group claims that the DfT has failed passengers in how it has handled the contract for Southern’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway, saying that the government has allowed the economy of the south of England to be brought “to a standstill”.

“Though we cannot yet share details of our final grounds, the case is sure to take on Chris Grayling’s refusal to act in the public interest, and the details of the unprecedented failure of public policy behind Southern Rail’s ‘management contract’,” a statement posted by the ABC said.

“We are also extremely concerned about the lack of disabled access on Southern Rail, a problem that has run throughout this year of service breakdown and is set to become a lot worse with the chaotic changes to staffing now taking place.”

The organisation said that its lawyers had spent months receiving “highly unsatisfactory responses” from the DfT, along with “repeated, time-wasting extensions” to Freedom of Information requests.

It noted that the campaign, founded by Sussex residents in May of last year, had been dissatisfied with Southern Rail even before the franchise’s dispute with unions over driver-only operated (DOO) trains, which has made the situation even more urgent.

“To this day, the details of the government’s contract with Southern Rail remain under lock and key and there has never been a stronger or more urgent case for transparency than now,” the statement read.

The news comes as the RMT said it would hold talks with transport secretary Chris Grayling over the DOO dispute, in an attempt to avert the days of strikes planned by drivers’ union Aslef for next week and later in the month.

Yesterday the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) said that Southern’s proposals to use DOO on its trains would be a “safe method of working” if the franchise makes sufficient improvements.

The announcement was welcomed by GTR and the government but met with anger from the unions, who called the report a “whitewash”.

The ABC is considering launching a second campaign to put together a class action against Southern for claims on financial losses over the course of the year. The association is asking its members for their thoughts on the suggestion.

(Image c. Lauren Hurley from PA Wire and Press Association Images)

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here 

Comments

Jak Jaye   18/01/2017 at 12:38

(Very) good luck with that lets hope the judges arent the same clueless trio that heard the Brexit Challange GTR is a disgrace and it beggers belief that firms like that are giving a railway to play with

Emily O'dowd   27/01/2017 at 15:45

It amazes me just how long the strikes have been going for now and no one seems to know what the real crux of the problem is. I found this article a useful one to explain a background into the Southern Rail chaos. https://www.smartrailworld.com/the-rail-technology-at-the-heart-of-the-uks-biggest-transport-crisis-in-decades

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

RSSB push for ‘keener, leaner and greener’ energy use from industry

21/04/2017RSSB push for ‘keener, leaner and greener’ energy use from industry

New guidelines on the energy use of non-traction activities by train companies could save the industry millions by making processes “keener... more >
Higgins defends botched HS2 contract despite conflict of interest

21/04/2017Higgins defends botched HS2 contract despite conflict of interest

HS2 Ltd would have likely disqualified CH2M before it even withdrew from the procurement of the Phase 2B development contract for a conflict of i... more >
Holophane win Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation 2017

21/04/2017Holophane win Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation 2017

The acuity brands company Holophane Europe has won one of the UK’s most prestigious business awards. The Milton Keynes-based lighting ... more >

editor's comment

08/03/2017A celebration of rail achievement

Welcome to this special UK Rail Industry Awards (UKRIA) review issue of RTM. The fourth edition of the prestigious awards took place on 9 February at London’s Battersea Evolution and, once again, was a huge success.  With over 1,100 rail decision-makers in attendance, the black-tie event was a great place for networking and celebrating the success of the rail industry in the last 12 months. To see who won at this year’s... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Intertrain: ready for the future

23/02/2017Intertrain: ready for the future

RTM recently attended Intertrain’s ‘Driving for Success’ event in Doncaster, where leaders from major players such as Carillion... more >
Tackling regulation at its routes

24/01/2017Tackling regulation at its routes

John Larkinson, the ORR’s director of railway markets and economics, speaks to RTM about the move to regulating Network Rail at a route lev... more >
Investing in the future of Scottish Rail

15/11/2016Investing in the future of Scottish Rail

Phil Verster, managing director of ScotRail Alliance, speaks to RTM’s Luana Salles about the recently-published ‘Investing in the Fut... more >

last word

Reasons to be cheerful

Reasons to be cheerful

Ahead of the major imminent reforms to the apprenticeship system, Simon Rennie, general manager of the National Training Academy for Rail, outlin... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Digital service to reunite passengers with lost valuables trialled in Wales

11/04/2017Digital service to reunite passengers with lost valuables trialled in Wales

Customers pulling their hair out at constantly leaving their valuables on the train may be in luck, as an innovative new system may help them tra... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Overcoming the challenges of e-ticketing

23/03/2017Overcoming the challenges of e-ticketing

Justin Stenner, head of technology for Heathrow Express, considers the  benefits and drawbacks of implementing e-ticketing on rail services.... more >
Breathing life back into the Connaught Tunnel

23/03/2017Breathing life back into the Connaught Tunnel

Linda Miller, former Crossrail project manager, Connaught Tunnel, reflects on the challenges of widening and deepening the vital Victorian tunnel... more >
The case for rail integration

23/03/2017The case for rail integration

Jeremy Long, CEO of European Business at MTR Corporation, reflects on how stronger integration of train and track could benefit major rail infras... more >
Getting fire testing standards right

23/03/2017Getting fire testing standards right

Richard Nowell, rolling stock engineer at the RSSB, discusses the ‘EN 45545-2 Fire testing of materials and components for trains’, a... more >