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To: Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport

Southern Fail: Time for action on Southern Rail

Strip Govia of the Southern Rail franchise, and ensure Southern Rail services are properly staffed and run in the public interest.

Why is this important?

Had enough of paying more but getting less from Southern Rail? Southern Rail, run by Govia Thameslink Railways, is a franchising failure with trains often delayed, cancelled and overcrowded. Despite these failures, Southern still received £42m in net subsidies from the taxpayer in 2014-15 and paid out £22m in shareholder dividends. It’s a rip-off and Southern should be stripped of the franchise.

While fares are going up - Southern is proposing to close more ticket offices, remove guards from trains and extend driver only operations. It will be even more difficult to get help when we need it, and this isn’t putting passengers’ safety first.

Southern illustrates the failures of rail privatisation – with profits put before people. The UK government is hostile to public ownership, but Govia is part-owned by French State railways, SNCF. The Southern Rail franchise should be returned to public ownership. We know this can work. Publicly owned East Coast returned over £1bn to the Treasury, had high satisfaction ratings and won over 30 industry awards.

Please take action – sign our petition to Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport calling on him to strip Govia of the Southern Rail franchise.

Reasons for signing

  • Filthy, flea-ridden trains that haven't been cleaned since leaving the manufacturer. Ancient coaches (when there's enough of them). No heating, USB charging or air conditioning except on those trains servicing (God forbid these passengers should suffer) Brighton Mainline.
  • Constant delays and cancellations, unacceptable overcrowding and filthy trains
  • Too few trains resulting in unacceptable crowding


2017-01-12 17:09:43 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2017-01-10 09:59:37 +0000

Further strike action on Southern Rail takes place this week. The disruption this will cause for passengers is regrettable, but we won’t be misled by Govia and the government on why the strikes are taking place.

For some time now, they've tried to reduce the dispute to ‘it’s about who opens and closes the doors. We know it's not just about train dispatch, it’s about guaranteeing a second safety critical trained person on the train, for safety, security and accessibility.

Southern will save money by cutting conductors. In 2014/15 they received £42m from taxpayers and paid out £22m in shareholder dividends – a very bad deal for passengers and taxpayers, and the wrong way to run a rail service.


2017-01-09 10:38:17 +0000

500 signatures reached

2017-01-06 18:36:39 +0000

100 signatures reached

2017-01-06 09:15:47 +0000

50 signatures reached

2017-01-04 12:27:09 +0000

25 signatures reached

2017-01-03 12:07:52 +0000

10 signatures reached