First Capital Connect - St Albans MP calls for crisis meeting

PUBLISHED: 15:41 27 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:41 06 May 2010

ST ALBANS MP Anne Main has called a meeting at the House of Commons with First Capital Connect s group rail manager following ongoing disruption with the company s train services. She has asked Mary Grant to the Commons on December 9, and is inviting all

ST ALBANS MP Anne Main has called a meeting at the House of Commons with First Capital Connect's group rail manager following ongoing disruption with the company's train services.

She has asked Mary Grant to the Commons on December 9, and is inviting all MPs whose constituencies are affected to come along and voice their concerns.

First Capital Connect has been plagued with delays and cancellations since drivers refused to work overtime and on rest days following a dispute over pay, leading FCC to issue a new timetable for the Thameslink line with reductions in services of up to 50 per cent.

Mrs Main has attempted to keep up the pressure for a swift resolution to the problems this week, raising the matter with Harriet Harman at Business Questions on the floor of the House of Commons, and also tabling a named day Parliamentary Question urging the rail minister to give a report on the matter, and pressing him to take action to resolve the situation.

She said: "Frankly, my constituents are losing patience with the service they are receiving from First Capital Connect. Management do not seem to be doing enough to keep passengers informed about the situation, and we can see no end in sight.

"This is why I have called a meeting for all Members of Parliament whose constituencies are affected with Mary Grant, the group rail manager of First Capital Connect, at the House of Commons. I think it is important for us all to meet her and pass on the concerns of our constituents, to try to bring about a resolution to the situation.

"We understand that there are problems but these need to be resolved quickly and with a long-lasting solution which returns a full service. I hope Mrs Grant will be able to tell us what action she and her management team are taking to move towards a rapid resolution."

Rail union ASLEF is still in talks with FCC in a bid to resolve the dispute and avert strike action. ASLEF are now balloting their members on a fully-fledged strike over the issue to begin on December 9. They have rejected a two-year deal with a pay freeze this year and a minimum of a three per cent increase next year.

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