Local MP to hold rail businesses to account

Local MP to hold rail businesses to account

Published by Maria Greenwood at 8:14am 23rd January 2020.

MPs in Westminster have taken a decisive step forward in holding rail businesses to account by establishing the first All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the South Western Railway.

Fifteen MPs, including West Dorset's MP Chris Loder, have vowed to take a direct and decisive role in improving the train service for constituents across South London and the South West of England region.

The group will examine the entire railway business, including franchisees, and the role that the DfT, the network operator (Network Rail), other industry businesses and transport authorities play to deliver the train service on the railway that operates in and out of London Waterloo.

Scrutiny will extend to the geographical area from London Waterloo to Portsmouth, Weymouth, Exeter, Bristol and Reading, as well as the network and connecting lines within these points.

MPs South Western Railway APPG with chair Chris Loder MP
MPs South Western Railway APPG with chair Chris Loder MP

At the meeting in Westminster chaired by Chris Loder MP, the group agreed five objectives for the network:

  • Capacity: Adequate rail capacity that meets demand
  • Future: Future investment and organisation delivers the service that constituents require and expect
  • Passenger Service: Passenger experience meets expectations
  • Performance: Reliable and punctual train services delivered for passengers
  • Value: Achieving value for money for passenger and taxpayer

M Loder said:

"Our train service has been in decline for several years now and we need to take decisive action to ensure we hold rail businesses to account for our constituents and we are now doing just that".


Related article: South Western Railway 'not sustainable' in the long term.