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.