12 March 2017
Milton Keynes Green Party has condemned the announcement by Southern, part of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), to withdraw the service between MK Central and East Croydon from next Monday.
GTR today announced the withdrawal of 15% of its services including the Southern service to MK Central.
Alan Francis of MK Green Party said,"This appalling mismanagement by Southern will hit many rail users in MK. The MK-Croydon service enables MK passengers to reach most places in Surrey, Sussex, Hants, Wilts and Dorset with just one change at Clapham Junction, avoiding the need to use the Underground."
"This is especially useful for passengers with disabilities or with luggage going to Gatwick Airport or seaside resorts such as Brighton and Eastbourne. And it provides a direct service to places in west and south London such as Shepherds Bush, Olympia and Croydon."
Southern has a shortage of train crews and is involved in a dispute with trade unions about the introduction of new driver-only-operated trains. This has led to hundreds of last minute cancellations over recent weeks.
Alan Francis said, "The privatised rail company has not employed enough staff to operate the services that it is contracted to provide."
"This is yet another example of the failure of rail privatisation. The train operating companies should all be taken back into public ownership either when their franchise ends or when they fail to operate all of the timetabled services."