Rail Franchises: Govia Thameslink - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:01 pm on 16th January 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Sugg Baroness Sugg Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 3:01 pm, 16th January 2018

I agree with the noble Lord that it is indeed the DfT’s responsibility to ensure that bidders can deliver. As I say, we have looked carefully at the NAO report and will be learning lessons from it. There are a number of reasons why passengers have suffered disruption on Southern, such as infrastructure works and the process of introducing new trains. However, I want to be clear that the main cause of the widespread disruption in this case was union action. We have seen an unprecedented 39 days of strikes by the RMT, which have directly led to the terrible time that passengers have experienced. Until the RMT calls off its strikes, passengers will continue to suffer.