Govia is in last chance saloon, says MP Sir Oliver Heald at public meeting

PUBLISHED: 09:32 21 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:32 21 July 2018

Sir Oliver Heald MP spoke at the rail user group meeting on Thursday.

Sir Oliver Heald MP spoke at the rail user group meeting on Thursday.


The North East Herts MP said that Govia Thameslink is in the last chance saloon, while speaking at the rail users group public meeting on Thursday.

Sir Oliver Heald sat on a panel at Letchworth’s Brotherhood Hall with Edward Carder, chair of Royston & Villages Rail Users Group, Leanne Stott and Stephen Rose of the Letchworth RUG, Scott Brightwell – Govia’s operations planning director and members of his team – and Sarah Bartram of Ashwell & Morden RUG.

The meeting, which was attended by around 200 people, was chaired by Letchworth district councillor Helen Oliver.

Sir Oliver Heald said: “In my 26 years as the MP here, I’ve never known a period like this cause such suffering. It’s completely unacceptable – I’ve been on Letchworth station talking to people in tears.

“One of the things I’ve tried to do is get to the point where GTR are in last chance saloon. We do have assurances from the Prime Minister that nothing’s off the table.

“And if Govia can’t get the services stable this week, I am going to call for them to lose the franchise.

“It is important that there shouldn’t be a question of no accountability, there should be these inquiries and GTR should realise they are in a last chance saloon.”

He said if the operator did lose the franchise, a temporary period of nationalisation would be put in place.

An audience member said to the MP that he had the chance to vote to get rid of transport secretary Chris Grayling, and make GTR lose the franchise, and chose not to.

He said: “I did have a decision to make. There was Labour motion for a vote of no confidence, so I had to think was that best for my constituents. My view was it would be a strong guesture to have done that, but I don’t think it would have helped you and that’s why I didn’t vote for it.

“It would have been a big guesture to vote against him, but an empty one.

“What we wanted was to get the show back on the track and that’s what I have been aiming for. That’s why I got assurances from the Prime Minister, because I don’t want this situation to continue and I believe, on balance, to leave the team in place with pressure to get the job done is the better judgement.”

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Royston Crow visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Royston Crow staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Royston Crow account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories


Sandon schoolchildren have visited a farm in the village as part of their local history and geography project.

Yesterday, 16:42

Brave volunteers are set to walk over hot coals of up to 538ºC in Little Wymondley to raise money for a Letchworth-based hospice charity.

Saving for a prolonged period of travel is essential, says our financial columnist Peter Sharkey. And now might just be the best time to go.


David Joseph Dodds trading as David Dods Transport Ltd of Hillside Farm, Newmarket Road, Royston, Herts SG8 7LZ of 129 London Road, Markyate, St Albans, Herts AL3 8R is applying to change an existing licence as follows To keep an extra 1 goods vehicles and 2 trailers at the operating centre at Hillside Farm, Newmarket Road, Royston, Herts 5G8 7LZ

Most read stories

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Read the Royston Crow e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Royston Crow weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy