Wednesday 18 July 2018 / 12:19 PM Andy McDonald / Transport

Chris Grayling fails to show up in Parliament for second time in two weeks to explain Govia Thameslink mess

The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has failed to show up in the House of Commons today to answer an Urgent Question tabled by Labour asking him to update MPs on the performance of the Govia Thameslink Franchise. This is the second time in just two weeks that he has failed to respond to an Urgent Question on the Govia Thameslink Franchise.

The question was tabled after ITV News revealed last night that “Govia Thameslink (GTR) underestimated the scale of disruption caused by changes to rail timetables by tenfold.”

It is claimed that “in a presentation given to the Transport Secretary just three weeks before the new timetables started in May, the company suggested there were just 43 planned cancellations on its routes.”

However on the first day of the new arrangements, the actual figure was 423.

Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, said:

“This is the single biggest cock-up on the railways in recent memory and Chris Grayling has gone missing.

“The Government and rail industry have failed passengers both on GTR and across the North of England.

“Govia Thameslink’s service and performance is now beyond unacceptable. It’s time for the Transport Secretary to strip this discredited company of their contract without delay.”