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Passenger revenue stabilises on GTR services despite a year’s worth of strikes

Passenger growth has slowed on Southeastern rail services, whilst passenger revenue growth on strike-ridden GTR has now stabilised, the third quarter trading statement from Go-Ahead has today announced.

The statement from the company, who are behind GTR, London Midland and Southeastern, found that passenger journey growth rates on Southeastern trains in the period between 3 July 2016 and 1 April 2017 had significantly lost pace and stood at 0.5%.

Meanwhile, the company said that growth on GTR had stabilised despite almost a year’s worth of industrial action on Southern trains, as passenger journeys went up by 3.5% and passenger revenue saw a rise of 5%.

London Midland continued to give a “strong performance”, as the company reported good levels of growth in revenue and passenger journeys, at 6% and 4% respectively.

The statement read: “Service levels have stabilised following the previous periods of industrial action, delivering more reliable rail services to customers.

“Discussions between GTR and the Aslef and the RMT unions continue with the aim of resolving the ongoing industrial disputes. GTR remains fully committed to resolving these issues so as to provide improved service for customers and reduce uncertainty for our stakeholders.”

Today’s news also follows the company blaming GTR for a 35% plummet in profits in February this year, as Go-Ahead stated that major losses could be attributed to “challenges” involving GTR as other parts of the business, including its bus transport saw a rise in profits.

Go-Ahead also stated that a cost-efficiency programme had been implemented to offset the revenue shortfall over the remainder of its contract on the South Eastern franchise, which runs out in December 2018.

The company said: “The franchise continues to contribute to the Department for Transport (DfT) through a profit share mechanism, although now at a lower level.

“The DfT has begun the tender process for the forthcoming South Eastern rail franchise competition with the publication of its public consultation document.”

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Jerry Alderson   21/04/2017 at 14:56

Things can only get better on GTR in the next two years. RMT strikes are now less disruptive. I'm very hopeful the ASLEF issues will be resolved without further industrial action. GTR is gradually rebuilding its trained staff levels. As more Class 700s come on stream then their reliability will improve, more drivers will be trained on them so more drivers will be working on service trains rather than taking time out on training. Thameslink work will be finished in a year so disruption at London Bridge will end. As Crossrail goes live that will increase patronage at key GTR interchanges such as Farringdon. The thing the government needs to ensure is that things do not slide backwards towards the end of the GTR concession (in 2021) as they did when First Capital Connect came towards the end of its franchise and didn't recruit new staff. The other danger is that the government decides to reshape the new franchise causing further uncertainty.

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