TSSA raises concerns over new Govia Thameslink rail contract

Southeastern train at platform, Penge East station

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has raised concerns over reports suggesting the Government plans to award Govia Thameslink a new national rail contract despite huge fines given to sister company, Southeastern.

The former operator of the Southeastern franchise was fined £23.5m last week after the government found it had "deliberately concealed" £25m of taxpayer funding.

In total Ministers are recovering almost £65m from London & Southeastern Railway (LSER) that is owed over the scandal. TSSA had called for the group to be stripped of all its franchises.

Commenting - union leader Cortes said: “This is very concerning. If the Department for Transport think it’s a good idea to award more contracts to Govia then they really are happy to throw good money after bad. But then again, from dodgy PPE Covid contracts to taking Russian Oligarchs money, the Tories have shown time and time again they have no morality.

“I’d be very keen to see the evidence suggesting that it’s appropriate to award any new contract to this company. We’ve still not really got to the bottom of what happened at Southeastern, and the public will expect probity from Grant Shapps after such a massive scandal.

“Shapps and his chums know taxpayers would be better served by once and for all ending the sham of profiteering on our railways and bringing the whole thing back into public hands, so we can build a proper long-term recovery from Covid.”