Profits at train operator Go-Ahead to rise as commuters hit by timetable chaos
Rail passengers suffered disruption across the country this week after major changes to schedules.
The group behind the troubled Southern Railway franchise has said it will rake in more profits than previously expected, just days after passengers suffered disruption from a major timetabling overhaul.
Go-Ahead Group, which is also behind the Govia Thameslink franchise, said it is “confident” the firm will deliver full-year results that are “slightly ahead of its previous expectations”.
It said good progress in the delivery of an efficiency programme and the revamp of London Bridge station had led to the upgrade.
Major changes to timetables affected commuters across the country this week, with customers on Go Ahead’s Southern and Southeastern franchises particularly badly hit.
Go-Ahead said the overhaul would “boost capacity” for Govia passengers with almost 400 more trains running every day, resulting in extra space for 50,000 passengers in the morning peak.
Go-Ahead chief executive David Brown said: “In partnership with the industry, this week we began the introduction of the largest timetable change in decades.
“The modernisation of the network will lead to new routes, greater connectivity and increased peak frequency through central London with the new technology of automatic train operation.”
But long-suffering commuters, who were forced to endure months of recent strike action on Southern, were faced with the grim reality of cancelled trains on several journeys.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling was forced to issue an apology for the disruption, but insisted it was only a “teething problem” that would eventually lead to longer-term benefits.