First Capital Connect must make improvements on 19/01/2010
London TravelWatch has met with Transport Minister Chris Mole MP, to demand action about the poor service recently provided by First Capital Connect.
During the last performance period, only 63% of Thameslink services and 72% of Great Northern services ran on time despite the operator running a much reduced timetable particularly on the Thameslink route. Worse still, almost 12% of services were cancelled.
First Capital Connect's services have suffered major disruption in recent weeks due to industrial action by drivers and the recent bad weather. Together these have lead to commuters frequently facing long delays as the current timetable on the Thameslink route has been abandoned including services being cut entirely at times on the Wimbledon Loop. We have had reports of passengers being unable to board trains and travelling in unacceptable conditions particularly during the recent bad weather.
Sharon Grant, Chair of London TravelWatch commented
"We relayed to the Minister the frustrations of passengers using FCC services, and pressed him to consider performance against the services FCC is contracted to provide. The picture is a far from healthy one, and passengers have been badly let down for many weeks"
We expect the Department of Transport now to bring all pressure to bear on FCC to improve performance quickly. Passengers have suffered enough and deserve better than the uncertainty they have had to contend with lately"
During our next board meeting we will be discussing how the transport companies coped with the recent adverse weather conditions, how they communicated with the travelling public, and whether lessons have been learnt from the snow event in February 09. The meeting will take place on 26th January in London TravelWatch's offices at 9:30, and members of the public are welcome to attend to share their experiences during an open session in the afternoon at 13:45.
For media enquiries, please contact Jo deBank in the London TravelWatch press office on 020 7726 9953 or 07734 055494
The voice of London's transport users
19 January 2010