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Go-Ahead profits stabilise as year-long strike row draws to a close

The Go-Ahead Group’s trading has been in line with expectations across its rail business during the first four months of the year (2 July – 29 November) as the company seeks to put its year-long history of strike action behind it.

Go-Ahead, which is a 65% shareholder of the Govia brand, said today that rail has been “satisfactory” during the period, and that the organisation is now “wholly focused” on further improving passenger services and supporting the Thameslink Programme as its long-standing dispute with rail unions draws to a close.

The company had been blighted by strike action from unions RMT and Aslef for just over a year, which caused significant disruption and financial burden to its Govia subsidiary. In fact, operating profits released back in September indicated that GTR had experienced a considerable 12% drop in profits and, partially as a result, Go-Ahead’s operating profit also slipped by over 16%.

But it now seems to be recovering from this slowdown, with Go-Ahead saying in a statement: “In GTR, on a moving annual average basis train performance has consistently improved since the period of intense industrial action ended in January 2017.

“In Southern, the number of cancellations has fallen by 8% and punctuality levels have improved by 16% in the 11-month period. Earlier in the month, we were pleased that ASLEF members ended their industrial dispute. GTR’s management team can now solely focus on improving performance levels for our customers.”

Go-Ahead’s Southeastern franchise has also delivered positive growth, with passenger revenues growing by 2.5%. The company is also in the running to operate the franchise under the new contract, due to start in 2019 and for which an invitation to tender was published yesterday.

“We are confident that we will submit a deliverable and attractive bid for customers, the DfT and shareholders,” the organisation said.

South Eastern is also set to become the next franchise to be taken forward in a more integrated structure, where the operator works closely with Network Rail to deliver both infrastructure and operational upgrades.

Go-Ahed’s CEO David Brown praised the government’s decision to press ahead with these plans, saying: “We welcome the strategic vision for the railways announced yesterday by the secretary of state for transport. We are pleased to see proposals to strengthen the partnership between the public and private sector, aimed at further improving services for customers. 

“We look forward to working with the government to understand the strategy in more detail.”


Andrew Gwilt   01/12/2017 at 04:10

Why cant Southern split from its current TSGN franchise which Govia is set to lose the Southern franchise and to operate as a different rail franchise. Since Southern merged with Thameslink and Great Northern franchises into 1 big franchise known as TSGN that operates across the Southeast and London as it was first formed back in September 2014.

Tliwg Werdna   01/12/2017 at 04:57

Why do none of my comments strangely make no sense, while repeating all the details in the article, yet answering questions. But not answering questions and still make sense

Andrew Gwilt   01/12/2017 at 10:01

No idea.

Andrew Gwilt   01/12/2017 at 10:16

Didn’t know you spelt my name backwards. Or are you literally taking the mick out of me. Just because my comment doesn’t make any sense. Yp another troll.

Noam   01/12/2017 at 12:27

Andrew's comments hurt no-one. Read them or don't read them, that's your choice, but please leave him alone.

Andrew Gwilt   01/12/2017 at 16:40

Noam. I don’t offend anyone. It’s just some who really push me to the limit that I get annoyed with.

James Palma   01/12/2017 at 19:28

Sorry, have I missed something? Has RMT stopped whinging? Or is it just that their strikes are having little effect?

RMT   04/12/2017 at 14:30

Actually Andrew - you swear at and threaten people who "dare to" reply to your comments. If you want to air your own opinions without question, start a blog. You need to learn to control yourself and respect that other people have their own opinions.

Andrew Gwilt   12/12/2017 at 02:29

Fine. Ok. RTM. Suppose there's me getting a ban.

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