Wednesday 7 August 2019 / 10:03 AM Rachael Maskell / Rail

Shapps continues Grayling’s disastrous rail policy: DfT cancels Southeastern franchise competition – Rachael Maskell responds

Rachael Maskell MP, Labour’s Shadow Rail Minister, commenting on the DfT cancelling the Southeastern franchise competition and directly awarding the franchise to incumbent operator Govia, said:

“Nothing has changed at the Department for Transport, and Grant Shapps is ploughing ahead with the disastrous rail policy of his predecessor Chris Grayling.

“The Tories are rewarding discredited operator Govia, while important investment decisions such as new trains are kicked into the long grass.

“It’s clear that the government does not believe franchising competition can deliver benefits for passengers – but they have no ideas for how to deliver better services.

“The Conservatives have no plan for the sorting out the rail network. Passengers in the south east and across the country deserve better, and only Labour’s plan to bring the rail system into public ownership will deliver a reliable and integrated system.”



Notes to editors

Today the DFT acknowledged that “continuing the competition process [was not certain to] deliver envisaged benefits for passengers in a timely fashion”, and that the Department did not yet have a “solution that delivers the capacity and performance benefits that passengers are expecting”.