Govia Thameslink Railway losses worsen, customer satisfaction falls but top boss’s pay soars to almost £500k

Posted On 10 Apr 2017 at 9:00 pm

Losses at Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) deepened and customer satisfaction fell but the best-paid director’s earnings soared to almost £500,000, according to newly filed accounts.

GTR made an operating loss of £15.6 million in the year to Saturday 2 July 2016 compared with a loss of £10.8 million in the nine months to Saturday 27 June 2015.

Similarly, it also made a pre-tax loss of £15.3 million, compared with an £11.2 million pre-tax loss in the earlier period.

The company, which includes Southern, Thameslink and the Gatwick Express, reported a drop in performance as well as customer satisfaction in a report to Companies House which included its full accounts.

The report, filed last Wednesday (5 April), said that the highest-paid director received £478,000, up from £263,000. This is believed to refer to chief executive Charles Horton.

The accounts included a review of the business. It said that the company had introduced new trains but that this had been “affected by the much-publicised industrial action by both the RMT and ASLEF”.

The review also said: “Both unions have publicly declared their intent to resist the further introduction of driver-only operated trains and are resisting any plans on a national level.

“Approximately 60 per cent of GTR’s services currently operate in this manner and have done so for many years.

“The heightened industrial relations tensions and the increasing number of ballots for industrial action as well as the actual strike days have increased the political tensions between the company and some of its key stakeholders.

“The resultant poor operating performance on the Southern and Gatwick Express routes has led to pressure from stakeholders, challenging both the franchising model and ownership of the franchise.

“This includes a renewed drive for devolution of London services to the control of the London mayor.”

It added: “The government’s spending constraints following Brexit are expected to impact on the DfT’s ability to fund service changes which passengers would like to see.”

GTR is co-owned by the Go-Ahead Group and the French company Keolis.

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