Steve confronts Southern Rail bosses over failing train service
With Southern Rail services going from bad to worse, Steve Reed MP has met with company bosses to demand immediate improvements.
The Croydon North MP met with senior managers from Southern Rail in Parliament this afternoon. He told managers that current service standards were unacceptable with frequent delays and cancellations, a lack of information for stranded passengers, and a complete disregard for customer service.
Southern Rail bosses, who charge regular commuters hundreds of pounds a year for their substandard train service, insisted services would soon improve. Steve pointed out that similar assurances had been given by Tory rail minister Clare Perry a year ago, but the situation had actually got worse not better.
Steve gave examples of Croydon passengers who had missed exams and job interviews or been thrown off trains in the middle of the night to emphasise the impact Southern Rail’s failings are having on people’s lives.
People are sick and tired of Southern Rail’s incompetence and disregard for passengers. This company seems incapable of running a decent railway service. I want to see their franchise removed and the service handed to a new operator that is directly accountable to passengers. It’s only when customers have the power to sack failing managers that there will be any hope of change.
Steven Reed is Labour MP for Croydon North and Shadow Minister for Children and Families. In 2018 his private member’s bill on reducing violent mental health restraint became law. In June 2019 he launched Labour’s civil society strategy outlining radical plans to empower citizens and communities.
Steve chairs the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network, co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London, was Leader of Lambeth Council 2006-12 where he led the council’s children’s services to become best-rated in the country and pioneered the public-health approach to tackling violent youth crime. He worked in publishing for 16 years and was an elected trade union branch secretary.