Shrimp’s coverage of the GTR Annual Stakeholder Forum

The Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) Annual Stakeholder Forum was held in London on 15 June 2016

The forum was covering the entire GTR region. Whilst some readers might be interested in the minute detail of presentations covering Royston, Redhill, Kings Lynn, Littlehampton etc, that would create a very long document and present an instant cure for insomnia.

As such the notes will, as far as practical, cover salient points that affect our services to / from Ashford, Brighton, London.

It should also be noted that this was a GTR managed forum where there was no (known) union presence. In order to avoid any perception of bias in the context of current industrial relation issues, we will endeavor to eliminate any reference to the dispute unless it is absolutely necessary.

In our previous document A Potted History of SHRIMP we made reference to the fact that we pay our own expenses. We should therefore record, with gratitude, that GTR paid all travel expenses for this meeting including HS1, and provided both lunch and light refreshments.

Presentations – summary points

Charles Horton, CEO GTR. Passenger numbers substantially increasing. Infrastructure failings not the whole story. Customers want better, personal service, with more use of IT. Trying to address these needs for positively. Various references to the current dispute. Changes to station staffing to be introduced in late 2016.

GTR and joint ASLEF/RMT positions are diametrically opposite.

Andrew Hutton, London Bridge Rebuild Project Leader, Network Rail. Rebuild moving from West to East side of station, requiring new construction traffic access via Tooley St – new pedestrian arrangements effective 16th June. Station to provide level access to surrounding roads and underground network. A new control room already installed, allowing Southern, SouthEastern  and NWR to work in unison during disruption. 24 escalators being installed. 13 retail units (out of an eventual 76) to open in August.

Interesting fact: the station canopy length exceeds the height of The Shard

Phil Hutchinson, Head of Timetabling, GTR; The August 2018 Vision Stakeholder consultation launching July 2016. There will no correlation between current timetable and the new one, which will more readily reflect network demands and passenger flows. The plan to run 24tph through the core is being revised due to some infrastructure constraints.

Route patterns affecting our area:

KENT: Maidstone E to Bedford (not via Catford) / Orpington to Luton / Sevenoaks to Welwyn Garden City / Maidstone E to Cambridge / Greenwich to Rainham

SUSSEX: Littlehampton to Bedford (peak) / East Grinstead to Bedford / Horsham to Peterborough / Three Bridges to Bedford / Brighton to Cambridge and Bedford

On major Sussex routes, station calling patterns will be different.

Further documents to follow.