Breaking: Govia Thameslink boss quits – day before parliamentary enquiry into Thameslink fiasco

A GTR group train

Charles Horton, CEO of the Govia Thameslink rail company, has announced his resignation moments ago, citing ‘hugely frustrating’ rail delays. The operator’s services have been in chaos after recent timetable changes.

The news comes one working day before a parliamentary enquiry scheduled for Monday:

tsc enq.png

The disaster of rail privatisation continues to unravel, just days after the government again had to intervene in the East Coast franchise. A whistleblower spoke on BBC radio yesterday about training issues he said had led to the GTR meltdown:

TSSA transport union General Secretary Manuel Cortes said:

This really is not before time. We’ve seen at least two years of passenger protests against the rail chaos at Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern and instead of offering reasonable solutions, Horton has never taken responsibility, but blamed unions and anyone else he could think of other than himself. The announcement has come from the GTR Comms team and circulated via email to staff, rather than the press release we might have expected, so I’m not sure how planned this resignation was?

This resignation really should mark the beginning of the end of Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. Horton is part of his misnamed leadership team. I shed no tears for him but if he’s admitting defeat for the biggest and longest disruption to rail timetables in peacetime history, then it’s because the system is beyond redemption. He’s fallen on his sword. It’s time Grayling fell on his. But May’s weak and wobbly government is the weaker and the wobblier the longer she lets him cling to power.

Meanwhile, also today the company have been invited to attend an inquiry into the serious failings of GTR which will take place on Monday. I don’t think this is a coincidence.

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  1. IIRC there was once a bald fascist who made the trains run on time.

    Nowadays there’s just a bald fascist 🙁

  2. The Tories are claiming that the chaos they create is as nothing to the state of the railways under British Rail. The real truth is that is a lie.

    I remember in the mid 1970s a Tory MP laughingly stood up in a debate on transport in the House of Commons, and proclaimed that we should privatise rail, and to prove his point……that when he ordered sandwiches from the the Buffet Carriage the sandwiches arrived with turned up corners, and insanely he presented that as an economic argument for privatisation.

    The truth about how the Tories create the conditions to transfer publicly owned services into the private sector has been repeated and honed into a well used formula, described by professor Noam Chomsky, as first the defund, the services starts to break down, then people get angry, then they hand it over to the private sector. Tory mismanagement has been the history of Britain’s decline and the only way to remedy that is get every single Tory out of government along with their enablers the right wing in the Labour Party, and the Libdems.

    The record of intent about how the Tories would go about dismantling the state is all here in Nicholas Riddley’s 1977 research document:


    Every person in the country should read and understand what this document is saying, especially when they talk in terms of the winter of discontent in the 1970s.

  3. We’re only part way along the road to Torytopia and the wheels are falling off what they were positive would be an unstoppable juggernaut.

    They’re screwing up constantly and so are the overpaid ‘geniuses’ running the flagships of private enterprise they stole from us.

    Never crossed their minds that those ‘businesses’ might in turn break down, people might in turn get even angrier on realising how they’ve been lied to and cheated out of their inheritance – along with decades of their lives – and take it all back with interest and extreme prejudice.

    I do believe we’re due interest and more from those who got rich.
    It’s going to be hard to start thinking of bailiffs as respected servants of the people though 🙂

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