GWR and Network Performance — [Mr Clive Betts in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:37 am on 5th February 2019.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Transport) 10:37 am, 5th February 2019

I will not, because of time. As frustrations have grown, we have seen satisfaction plummet; we have heard how vexed and unsatisfied passengers are with the poor service on that line.

It was last year’s timetable fiasco that really brought all those issues into focus. Staff themselves, as some hon. Members have highlighted today, have been professional and incredibly patient in their dealings with the public, and have received a quantum of abuse in trying to keep people safe through this time. It is not their fault, after all, that the Secretary of State meddled in the planned timetabling process by changing his mind over the projects he was cutting. It is not their fault that the private companies could not get their act together to have the trains delivered and up and running on time, with proper testing of the system. It was the Secretary of State who failed to hold the companies to account. It is not the staff’s fault that Network Rail, which is accountable to—guess who?—the Secretary of State, failed to deliver the infrastructure on time.