Rail Minister Meeting

30th November 2017
Anne Main, alongside fellow Hertfordshire MPs Bim Afolami and Oliver Dowden, met with the rail minister, Paul Maynard, to discuss the future of Govia Thameslink and the need for further improvements to passenger services.
 
‘Constituents contact me with the problems that they face on their daily commute,’ said Mrs Main. ‘Recent improvements to the service are of course welcome, but the minister needs to focus on maintaining and improving those standards.  I do believe there is a drive from the minister and department to provide better value-for-money and be much more customer-focused.’  
 
The meeting came on the day when transport secretary, Chris Grayling, announced in parliament the government’s plans to focus on, ‘passengers, economies and communities they serve [representing] the biggest change to the delivery of rail services since privatisation.’  
 
Anne was joined by a constituent who shared many of the problems St Albans commuters still have on the Thameslink service.  
 
Mrs Main also took the opportunity to raise concerns about the proposed rail-freight site, namely the viability and impact on passenger services it will have. 
 
The St Albans MP shared her continued frustrations with Network Rail and their lack of accountability. The latest figures show that 64% of delays are issues that are under the control of Network Rail.   
 
Mrs Main pushed the minister on improving passenger communication.  Mr Maynard said that passengers should not have to be proactive in finding out the cause for delays. He assured Anne that the government would continue to work towards improving communications between Network Rail, Thameslink and passengers. And, that the department would also look to improve the communication of drivers with passengers when delays occur whilst passengers are in transit. 
 
The minister also touched on some of the other improvements the Department for Transport are working on. This included working towards incorporating contactless payments for passengers at St Albans into the TFL network.  
 
Speaking after the meeting, Anne said: ‘I was pleased with the minister’s responses to the questions we put to him. It is clear that the department are working hard with all stakeholders to improve the service for the high-paying commuters in St Albans. I will continue to push for better passenger services.’ 

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