Tory MP says he will back call for Southern to lose franchise

Southern TrainsChris Philp, the new Conservative MP for Croydon South, is to hold what he calls an “emergency summit” next month with the rail minister and railway company chief executives, over what he calls “the particularly terrible service of the recent past”.

“I am also prepared to call for Southern to lose their franchise if the service does not improve by next spring,” Philp told Inside Croydon‘s loyal reader in an email last week.

The MP was responding to the latest set of complaints regarding the withdrawal of services over a 11-day period from Christmas Eve into early January, with no trains on Boxing Day at all and with engineering works planned around London Bridge and at Purley.

Philp’s constituency includes Coulsdon and Purley, areas where many residents depend on a reliable rail service for their increasingly expensive daily commute to work, and since his election to Parliament in May, the MP has busied himself in raising this concern with the railways minister Claire Perry. Commuters on Thameslink services have been particularly badly affected for more than a year while engineering works at London Bridge have been underway.

“I will continue to put strong pressure on Southern Rail and the Rail Minister, to ensure the rapid delivery of the improvements that are desperately needed,” Philp wrote to a constituent.

“I am also prepared to call for Southern to lose their franchise if the service does not improve by next spring. I met with Claire Perry recently to discuss Southern and the distinct lack of improvement.

“Following on from the particularly terrible service in the recent past, I am holding an emergency summit in January with the Rail Minister, the Chief Executives of Southern and Network Rail, and other affected MPs.”

It is an initiative around which Croydon’s other MPs, Gavin Barwell and Steve Reed OBE, who also represent many rail commuters, have been less active despite having been in the Commons for longer periods.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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2 Responses to Tory MP says he will back call for Southern to lose franchise

  1. sed30 says:

    Reblogged this on sed30's Blog and commented:
    Something has got to change

  2. If the MP hasn’t worked out the difference between Network Rail and the train operators that run on the lines, then his arguments are going to get short shrift.

    Southern are rubbish, but Network Rail work at London Bridge, Bermondsey and Purley (amongst others) are not something they can control, only try to work around. They also cannot control lorries hitting bridges nor signalling failures (again, Network Rail) which seem to cause most of their problems.

    The service simply cannot improve until mid-2016 when the Bermondsey works are completed and more paths open up into London Bridge.

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