First Capital Connect Strike - Rail firm may be in breach of franchise with service cuts

PUBLISHED: 12:51 12 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:39 06 May 2010

The misery continues for rail users

The misery continues for rail users

FIRST Capital Connect had government go-ahead to reduce its timetable on the Thameslink line from today, it has emerged. St Albans MP Anne Main was given leave to raise an Urgent Question in the House of Commons this morning and was told that the governme

FIRST Capital Connect had government go-ahead to reduce its timetable on the Thameslink line from today, it has emerged.

St Albans MP Anne Main was given leave to raise an Urgent Question in the House of Commons this morning and was told that the government had agreed with the reduced timetable which has resulted from drivers refusing to do overtime or work on rest days over a pay dispute.

Currently FCC is running around 50 per cent of its normal timetable causing misery for passengers particularly doing peak periods.

Mrs Main, who was not told about the 50 per cent cut in service, has received numerous emails and phone calls from passengers about the situation.

She was supported in the House of Commons by other MPs representing parts of the county affected by the situation including Peter Lilley for Hitchin and Harpenden and James Clappison for Hertsmere, who pointed out that the situation was even worse further down the line.

Mrs Main asked junior transport minister Chris Mole, representing the Secretary of State Lord Adonis whether or not FCC was in breach of its franchise and whether it was reasonable for a train service to have 50 per cent of its service deleted.

She also asked if the government was aware of the situation which was when she was told they were.

Mrs Main said she was told that the government was monitoring the situation but there had been some indication that the minister believed the train company was in breach of its franchise.

She maintains that FCC has demonstrated that its franchise is undeliverable because it was based on good will from the drivers which has now been withdrawn. She wants the government to say that they could lose the franchise unless they provide an adequate level of service to passengers.

Mrs Main is also concerned that passengers will not now be liable for compensation because the changes have been timetabled and is urging passengers to contact FCC for remuneration.

The gravity of the situation is reflected in the fact that Mrs Main managed to raise it as an Urgent Question - it has only happened three times in the past year and it is very rare for a backbencher to be given leave to do so.

LATEST CANCELLATIONS TO LONDON

12:10 Bedford to Brighton due 14:25

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12:40 Bedford to Brighton due 14:54

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13:10 Bedford to Brighton due 15:24

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13:40 Bedford to Brighton due 15:54

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14:10 Bedford to Brighton due 16:25

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12:13 St Albans City to Sutton Surrey due 13:36

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12:44 Luton to Sutton Surrey due 14:35

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13:44 Luton to Sutton Surrey due 15:35

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13:13 St Albans City to Sutton Surrey due 14:36

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14:13 St Albans City to Sutton Surrey due 15:36

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14:40 Bedford to Brighton due 16:55

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15:10 Bedford to Brighton due 17:27

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15:13 St Albans City to Sutton Surrey due 16:36

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17:38 Kentish Town to Three Bridges due 18:55

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16:13 St Albans City to Sutton Surrey due 17:37

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17:18 St Albans City to Sutton Surrey due 18:39

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18:02 St Albans City to Sutton Surrey due 19:39

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14:44 Luton to Sutton Surrey due 16:35

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15:44 Luton to Sutton Surrey due 17:39

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16:44 Luton to Sutton Surrey due 18:31

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17:34 Bedford to Brighton due 20:00

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18:10 Bedford to Brighton due 20:30

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21:50 Bedford to St Pancras International due 22:52

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18:02 Luton to Sutton Surrey due 19:36

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18:42 Bedford to Brighton due 20:58

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19:16 St Albans City to Sutton Surrey due 20:36

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18:30 Bedford to Sutton Surrey due 20:35

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LATEST CANCELLATIONS FROM LONDON

15:36 Sutton Surrey to St Albans City due 16:59

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16:36 Sutton Surrey to Bedford due 18:24

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18:04 Brighton to Bedford due 20:28

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18:34 Brighton to Bedford due 20:50

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19:34 Brighton to Bedford due 21:50

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17:24 Brighton to Bedford due 19:58

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18:32 Sutton Surrey to Bedford due 20:40

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19:27 Three Bridges to Bedford due 21:20

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17:38 Sutton Surrey to Luton due 19:34

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18:40 Sutton Surrey to Luton due 20:30

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19:37 Sutton Surrey to Luton due 21:30

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19:40 Sutton Surrey to St Albans City due 20:59

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23:04 St Pancras International to Bedford due 00:06

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23:34 St Pancras International to Bedford due 00:36

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20:04 Brighton to Bedford due 22:21

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20:34 Brighton to Bedford due 22:50

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20:37 Sutton Surrey to Luton due 22:30

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20:40 Sutton Surrey to St Albans City due 21:59

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16:04 Brighton to London Bridge due 17:02

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18:22 Elephant & Castle to Bedford due 19:38

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17:16 Elephant & Castle to Bedford due 18:28

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17:48 Elephant & Castle to Bedford due 18:58

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16:22 Brighton to Bedford due 18:48

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17:58 Elephant & Castle to Luton due 19:05

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19:32 Moorgate to Hertford North due 20:19

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16:37 Sutton Surrey to Luton due 18:32

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17:09 Brighton to London Bridge due 18:17

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17:40 Sutton Surrey to St Albans City due 19:05

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18:09 Elephant & Castle to Bedford due 19:34

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