I understand the frustrations of passengers as I am a commuter myself and the services have just not been good enough. I have provided updates here and here, if you have missed them and copies of my responses to the consultation are available here for anyone to read.
I have been in daily contact with Govia. I have met with the Secretary of State several times and been in almost daily contact with him on a range of issues. I welcomed the resignation of Charles Horton, the Head of Govia and I apologise once again to all those affected.
It has been my intention throughout this period to focus on ensuring we have an emergency timetable that works and can provide a reliable and consistent service to passengers. It has become clear that the preparations for introducing the new timetable were not good enough and the Inquiry that has been announced will get to the bottom of this.
The emergency timetable has now stabilised and the new timetable, due to have been rolled out in May, will be ready next month. My focus is on ensuring that the increases in services are delivered in a carefully planned manner. The improvements for Stevenage and Knebworth are immense, with many more trains, thousands more seats and new destinations.
Yesterday I met some of Govia’s senior team and planners at Kings Cross. I saw them at work and discussed some of the inconsistencies that the emergency timetable has created for our area. It is clear the staff at Govia are working around the clock to try and resolve the issues under significant pressure. They ran me through the processes they are undertaking for the significant step change in services we will see next month and worked with me to resolve a number of issues. For example, the following departures from Kings Cross will all call additionally at Stevenage from tonight until the new timetable is fully rolled out next month:
I have tried to get the best service for my constituents and there have been a number of additional services we have been able to introduce for both Knebworth and Stevenage over the last few weeks. However, I will not be satisfied until we have all the benefits of the new timetable for both of my stations.
My campaign for tickets to be accepted at London Terminals for those using the Thameslink services, is making progress and the Secretary of State confirmed last night that his Department is working on the details. I am hopeful, we can reach a successful conclusion shortly, as this will transform how people access the tube system if we are successful.