Stephen McPartland
Working hard for you
in Stevenage, Knebworth, Codicote, Datchworth and Aston

I am in daily contact with Govia and do not believe they are doing a good job. I met with them again this week and took them through the concerns of local people. I am a commuter myself and I have been sharing the difficult experiences of the last few weeks. I am sorry for what has happened and I share your frustration.

Please do read the statement I released when the new timetable began operating here.

We should be celebrating more seats, more services and more destinations after a £7 billion investment in the Thameslink Tunnel allowing direct access to destinations such as Gatwick and Brighton. A massive economic boost for Stevenage and Knebworth. Billions more pounds are being spent on new trains and carriages, digital signalling systems and the biggest overall to our railways since the Victorian period. Instead, we have experienced severe disruption, mass cancellations and uncertainty on journey times.

I have tried to get the best service for my constituents and I have responded to every stage of the consultation that dates back to 2016. I have made them all available here in one place for easier access.

If Govia actually owned the franchise for our section of track, make no mistake I would want them removing, but they do not. It is a management contract and we need someone to run the trains, so I want them to focus on the recovery plan and get the trains moving on time again. I have spoken with Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, again this week and I met face to face with Govia to ensure they understood we need to see a dramatic improvement.

The emergency timetable seemed to manage yesterday and it will now go through a two week stabilisation period. I will stay in daily touch with Govia and meet with them again after this two week period. I understand if this all runs to plan, then additional services will be slowly introduced, probably each day, and sometime next month we will finally have the May 2018 timetable fully running.

I have made it clear to Govia, that services should be introduced around the current timetable, so passengers have some certainty and there is no chopping and changing of services each day. To restore our confidence this has to be a carefully planned increase in services and capacity that provides consistency for local people.

Communication has been a huge issue for Govia and they really have to improve. It seems many people were unaware of the consultation for the new timetables and are still unaware that it is being phased in over eighteen months. There can be no more big timetable changes and I am pleased the Secretary of State for Transport agrees with me on this and has made that clear publicly. I am sure you are all aware he has announced an Inquiry into what has happened, and it will investigate whether Govia has breached their contract and establish a compensation scheme.

I have also raised the issue of London terminals tickets, not allowing through travel to Blackfriars and other new destinations. I believe that London terminals tickets should cover all stations in London on the new Thameslink service and am campaigning on this issue too.

My focus remains on getting a reliable service for Stevenage and Knebworth and I will continue to keep the pressure on Govia. I will continue to provide updates and if you have a specific issue you would like to raise, then please do email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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