Responding to today’s National Audit Office report into the Thameslink, Southern & Great Northern franchise, Charles Horton, Chief Executive of franchise operator Govia Thameslink Railway said:
“The Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise is making good progress in delivering a major upgrade programme to improve reliability and boost capacity on the most congested part of the UK rail network, a complex project whose success is critical to the national economy. As part of this drive to modernise, we are pioneering improvements in trains and technology, and have updated practices for train drivers and crew that other operators are only now adopting.
“Passengers will increasingly see the benefits of this modernisation project in terms of reliability, punctuality and new journey options, delivered in conjunction with the Government’s Thameslink Programme. We are glad that the National Audit Office has recognised these passenger benefits and that they forecast Thameslink has a realistic chance of delivering value for money.
“TSGN is the UK’s largest franchise – carrying almost a million passengers a day – and the report identifies numerous root causes for the challenges it has faced since its formation in 2014. These difficulties have sometimes been greater than expected and we regret the disruption caused to our passengers.
“It is only right that a franchise of TSGN’s unprecedented scale and ambition receives scrutiny, and I am more confident than ever that its trailblazing achievements will be felt by rail travellers for generations to come.”