Transport Secretary given two weeks to decide on Southern | London

The Transport Secretary is set to decide whether the extensive disruption to Southern Railway services over the past year was beyond the operator’s control, after a court ruled he would, or face a judicial review.

The High Court made the ruling after hearing an application by the Association of British Commuters for a judicial review into the way Chris Grayling has dealt with Southern.

The operator, owned by Govia Thameslink Railway has been hit by a year of disruption because of industrial action taken by unions over driver-only trains, staff shortages and other problems.

Mr Justice Ouseley said he was requiring the minister to make available his decision within 14 days.

An independent report by rail expert Chris Gibb, which was published last week, made it very clear that the responsibility for disruption on Southern was primarily caused by industrial action led by RMT and Aslef and exceptional levels of staff sick leave.

We have been considering whether the extensive disruption to the line last year was entirely beyond GTR’s control and our decision was due to be communicated to the company imminently.

We are more than happy to inform GTR of the verdict within the 14 days required by the judge.

– Department for Transport

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