The RMT and ASLEF unions have spoken of their disappointment in the Government’s so-called fine of Southern Rail.
The Department of Transport has instructed Southern’s parent company, Govia Thameslink Rail, to spend £13.4million on improving services, after the company was found to be running a poor performance.
Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, said, “What Chris Grayling takes with one hand he gives back with the other. The DfT has fined Southern £13m but it has also given Southern £13m to improve services.
“So, the lesser spotted Secretary of State for Transport, and the lesser spotted DfT, only take back what they have already given and the company – known to passengers who suffer from its mismanagement every day as Southern Fail – does not actually pay the price for failing to deliver.
“There is still no end in sight to the problems of Southern. The DfT has failed, the Transport Secretary has failed, and Southern has failed.”
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said, “This latest whitewash of the Southern Rail shambles by the Government is hardly a surprise when they've been up to their necks in this fiasco right from day one. This pathetic response to the abject failure by Southern/GTR to deliver on their contract doesn't even stack up to a slap on the wrist. No wonder the company are gloating. Chris Grayling has let them off the hook big style.
"This is yet another case of the government and their rail industry cronies investigating themselves while the services they are responsible for are a global laughing stock.
"Chris Grayling has propped up the basket case Southern Rail operation from the off and is clearly happy to put the profits of overseas rail companies before the safety, quality and accessibility of services for the British people.
"RMT's fight for safe, accessible and reliable rail services for all goes on."