Responding to the Which? passenger survey, a spokesperson for Govia Thameslink Railway, parent company of Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern, said:
“Much of the disruption on Southern Railway has been caused by union opposition to our modernisation programme which is being carried out to transform services on the most congested routes in the country.
“The Which? analysis fails to take into account the unique and complex challenges that face GTR compared to other train operators. Southern also operates a commuter service of over 2,200 services a day and is compared with other firms which operate far fewer trains and, in many cases, operate on long distance leisure routes.
“Services are improving and we will introduce an enhanced train timetable in May to give passengers better reliability on Southern and a greatly expanded Thameslink network, creating 35,000-40,000 more seats into London.
“We have already replaced the entire Thameslink fleet and started to bring in more new trains to our Cambridge and Peterborough route, from where, in just four months’ time, we’ll have new direct cross-London services to Gatwick and beyond.
“The majority of delays are outside our control but Network Rail is investing £300m to improve reliability of the infrastructure.
“As operators of the UK’s largest rail franchise, accounting for more one fifth of all UK rail journeys, we are confident that our trailblazing achievements will be felt by rail travellers for generations to come.”
Notes to editors
- The TSGN franchise brings together four brands and runs from 2014 – 2021. It is has key role to play in delivering the £7bn Thameslink Programme in conjunction with Network Rail and Department for Transport
- Southern operates a commuter service of over 2,200 services a day and is compared here with Grand Central which has just 18 and is used chiefly for leisure
- Moving annual average, period 10 data:
- 80.84% of all GTR trains now arrive on time vs 74.54% a year ago
- 79.31% of Southern trains now arrive on time vs 73.70% a year ago
- 83.66% of Thameslink trains now arrive on time vs 74.46% a year ago
- 83.75% of Great Northern trains now arrive on time vs 79.64% a year ago