GTR contractual variations agreed

GOVIA THAMESLINK Railway is to fund a package of performance and passenger improvements worth £13.4 million, after reaching agreement with the Department for Transport on contractual variations relating to the impact of industrial action on train performance.

The operator made claims for force majeure under its franchise agreement due to the action, and DfT has been deciding on the claims for some time. It was forced into a public decision following legal action by crowdfunded group the Association of British Commuters, which took the matter to court.

The £13.4 million fund, whose use has been determined by DfT, will see £7 million placed into a fund for DfT to allocate to improvements, £4 million to fund 50 on-board supervisors from January 2018 and the remaining £2.4 million to target performance improvements.

Go-Ahead Group, which holds a 65% stake in GTR, says the outcome of the contractual discussions is ‘very close to management’s central judgements’. There are still outstanding contractual variations to be agreed relating to rolling stock cascades and timetable specifications. GTR will be required to submit a remedial plan to DfT under the franchise agreement.