Government makes £20m promise to improve southern rail network

Southern Railway
Southern Railway

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A £20m promise to improve the southern rail network has been announced by central government.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced today that £20m will be freed up to bolster the problem-laden network with Chris Gibb, non-executive director of Network Rail, to head a new project board on how to oversee ‘rapid improvements’ to services.

The board will oversee the funds and work closely with Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), who run Southern Railway, and Network Rail to improve performance for southern customers.

The £20m will be put to placing more rapid response teams in the area, accelerate the replacement of worn track and hire extra staff at stations such as Gatwick to make sure trains get away on time.

Chris Grayling MP said: ‘I want the Southern network to be run by a team of people who work together to make sure passengers get decent journeys and that problems are dealt with quickly.

‘We also need to get to grips with things that go wrong on this part of the network.’

GTR’s CEO Charles Horton said: ‘We welcome the benefits this £20 million improvement package will bring for passengers.

‘This investment complements our existing programme of improvements which is bringing in new trains and changing work practices to improve customer service.’