Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern Rail Franchise

Department for Transport written question – answered on 10th January 2019.

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Photo of Joan Ryan Joan Ryan Labour, Enfield North

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent progress his Department has made on implementation of the recommendations in Chris Gibb's independent report on the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise.

Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Vice-Chair, Conservative Party

Chris Gibb’s report made a number of recommendations for the network that we are continuing to work with the industry to deliver. In particular, the Department is working with Network Rail to deliver the remainder of the £300m programme to improve rail infrastructure and resilience along the Southern and Thameslink rail networks announced in January 2017. This will underpin the delivery of the Thameslink Programme and improve reliability across those networks.

Those works include the successful delivery of an ongoing programme of track renewals, a number of signaling enhancements, drainage works and the clearance of vegetation. A number of maintenance pods have been delivered at strategic points on the network to help improve service recovery times. There is also a major overhaul of the Balcombe Tunnel infrastructure that will make a real difference to performance on the Brighton Main Line and is being done in a way that minimises passenger impacts.

In addition, the Thameslink Industry Readiness Board chaired by Chris Gibb is now in the process of independently reviewing and challenging the industry programme to deliver the remaining Thameslink Programme timetable changes.

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