Gatwick Express Railway Line

Department for Transport written question – answered on 10th September 2018.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Co-Leader of the Green Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Rail Minister is (a) consulted and (b) signs off on decisions on changes to the timetabling of Gatwick Express services run under the GTR Management Contract.

Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Department for Education) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (Department for Transport), Minister of State (London)

The Department for Transport sets the overall framework for Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR’s) timetables, including minimum numbers of services at each station as well as maximum journey times for key routes. The timetable changes that are being implemented from May 2018 in order to deliver the benefits of the Government’s £7bn investment in the Thameslink Programme, have been developed with the rail industry over a number of years.

These changes were set out in GTR’s consultation, which took place in three stages in 2016 and 2017. It was one of the largest consultations to have taken place on the railways. The reason for the change is to maintain a consistent pattern of services during the peaks. While we appreciate that some passengers would prefer being able to choose between Southern and Gatwick Express services, this consistent calling pattern should bring more reliable and resilient service performance in the long term. Overall, the timetable has been designed by GTR to benefit the maximum number of its passengers.

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