Transport Minister visits St Albans

Baroness Kramer with Sandy Walkington

Baroness Kramer with Sandy Walkington - Credit: Archant

Transport Minister Susan Kramer explained the latest tendering system when she visited St Albans last Friday – just before Govia took over the Thameslink franchise from First Capital Connect.

St Albans Lib Dem parliamentary hopeful, Sandy Walkington, arranged the visit to enable Baroness Kramer to talk to local members of the party.

They were also able to hear her insights into the new francise and her future ambitions for rail users.

She explained that the award of the franchise was done ‘totally blind’ with companies using fake names so that their identity was invisible to the department and each bid looked at on its merits.

Sandy said he had stressed to her the importance of communication if things went wrong and the need for a clearer and fairer system of compensation.

He went on: “If all we get is a change of livery on the trains and stations, it will not be good enough. We believe that this is the highest priced commute in Britain and St Albans commuters deserve a better deal.

“Susan is also the minister in charge of the HS2 project and it was very interesting to hear her vision for how train capacity from St Albans can be increased and also new routes to more distant locations can be provided once the new high speed line starts operating.

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“We had the opportunity to show her the Abbey Line as well and talk through how the government might be able to kickstart the long needed investment there as well.”