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Has man who said rail staff should be 'punched up' been let go?

1 September 2016

TSSA responds to news that DfT has appointed Network Rail's Chris Gibb to lead the change at troubled GTR's troubled Southern Rail.

TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said:

"We note that Chris Grayling has removed the government's own controversial £275k Director of Passenger Services Peter Wilkinson from delivering change at Southern.

"We'd like to know what happened to him following the Cabinet Office inquiry into his publicly insulting behaviour towards train drivers who he said should be punched up. Has the man who has been paid more than the prime minister whilst overseeing unprecedented levels of over crowding, passenger misery and bad industrial relations on Southern finally been "let go"?

"I am happy to hear the Tories finally get that Southern, like all our rail industry, needs ia huge investment of capital into upgrading the service. But as Southern is the largest franchise in the network and working at 279% over-capacity, £20million is a mere fragment of the amount needed to upgrade the service so it is fit for the purpose commuters in the South East so desperately need.

"I note too that Chris Grayling and Chris Gibb are both calling for closer cooperation with unions to improve the service offered to passengers.

"If they aren't weasel words, TSSA will be delighted to take them up on the offer and I look forward to receiving a formal
Invitation.

"But we'll start by telling the DfT that the only meaningful way forward for Southern passengers to be given a reliable service is to take the franchise back into public control so without profit targets of the GTR privateers we can stop cutting corners and offer more trains which run on time, in safety and with proper staffing levels."

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