Train company to be hauled before county council to see if it has improved on ‘appalling’ service

Govia is set to introduce new, faster trains on its routes.

Govia is set to introduce new, faster trains on its routes. - Credit: Archant

Under fire train company Govia Thameslink will be expected to show that rail services between Hertfordshire and London are improving when its representatives are hauled before Hertfordshire County Council later this week.

The train operator will present its performance data for the past three months at the council’s environment, planning and transport cabinet panel on Wednesday, December 7.

The meeting follows September’s crisis talks, held at County Hall in Hertford, where Thameslink’s passenger service director, Stuart Cheshire, admitted their service had been ‘unacceptable’ and apologised to affected rail users.

Social media has been full of reports of delayed and cancelled trains with routes between London Moorgate and Hertfordshire particularly badly hit.

Following the meeting, representatives from Govia were invited back to show that the imminent arrival of new drivers and trains on its routes would bring the desired improvements in performance.

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The council’s leader for transport, Derrick Ashley, said: “Since Govia was awarded the franchise two years ago, passengers have faced delays and cancellations to services that make it impossible to journey plan with any certainty.

“There are tens of thousands of residents of Hertfordshire and other authorities north of London who have endured appalling levels of service, without compensation and unable to plan their journeys with any certainty.

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“In September, Govia explained the complexities of the franchise and gave us assurances that we would see improvements in train services. We now want to see evidence that these issues have been addressed and we are seeing better services for the benefit of all rail users in Hertfordshire.”

It comes as Govia is consulting on its new passenger timetable for 2018 which would introduce new faster services to London but which some think will lead to fewer services stopping at the smaller stations.

It has also announced trains from Stevenage to Watton-at-Stone and Hertford will be replaced with bus services for the forseeable future.

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