Railway bosses to be told that their future is on the line

Lewes MP Maria Caulfield
Lewes MP Maria Caulfield

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SOUTHERN Railway bosses could face huge fines over its ‘unsatisfactory’ and ‘unreliable’ service if it does not fulfil its promises after a grilling from disgruntled MPs.

Representatives from Govia Thameslink Railway, the company responsible for the Southern franchise, which runs to Portsmouth from London via Chichester, and Network Rail are due to face questions from Southern Railway-served MPs on January 18.

Several MPs including Labour’s Chuka Umunna, Conservatives Sir Nicholas Soames, Crispin Blunt and Maria Caulfield, and the Green’s Caroline Lucas have voiced their criticism Southern’s ongoing problems including delayed services, engineering work and not enough carriages or drivers.

As a result, Rails Minister Claire Perry has invited them to join her next meeting with Network Rail and the train operator at Westminster.

Ms Caulfield, pictured, Conservative MP for Lewes who commutes to Westminster, said: ‘There is a huge cross-party group who are cheesed off.

‘For me it is an unreliable, unsatisfactory and expensive service. Residents say to me they are completely fed up. There doesn’t seem to be acknowledgement or sympathy from Southern. The conditions are poor, conditions are cramped, people are standing all the way. It is not good value for money.’