Great Northern driver blames ‘incompetent management’ for late service

A Great Northern train driver pulling into King's Cross late this morning apologised for 'incompeten

A Great Northern train driver pulling into King's Cross late this morning apologised for 'incompetent railway management'. Picture: Govia Thameslink - Credit: Archant

Even Great Northern’s drivers have had enough of the controversial new timetable – that’s if one railwayman’s apology to commuters this morning is anything to go by.

According to passengers on the service into London King’s Cross, their driver apologised over the intercom for the lateness of their journey – and said this was “due to the incompetent railway management introducing a new timetable that clearly does not work”.

Hitchin Rail Commuters campaigner Ros Southward described the announcement on social media as “classic”, adding: “Even the drivers have had enough.”

Amid near-constant cancellations and delays since the new timetable was introduced on May 20, rail firms including Great Northern operator Govia Thameslink have repeatedly apologised and cited issues beyond their control.

A petition to the government for Govia to be stripped of its contract has almost 17,000 signatures.

MPs voicing concern have included Hitchin and Harpenden’s Bim Afolami, who has arranged an hour-long public meeting with Govia Thameslink and Network Rail for 7.30pm on Wednesday, July 4.

Mr Afolami will chair the meeting at The Sun Hotel in Sun Street, and is to hold another meeting at The Harpenden Arms in Harpenden the next evening at the same time.

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Yesterday North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald said he had a “frank and full discussion” with Govia’s chief executive Charles Horton about reliability and accurate information, and “particularly the need for this in peak times”.

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