Tag: Grayson

Rail passengers plan to fund review into Government handling of Southern railway

first_imgA rail passenger group is set to fund a legal review of the Government’s handling of the Southern rail franchise after months of disruption to services.The Association of British Commuters announced it will work to fund a Judicial Review into the Department of Transport, with “real determination to hold the Government to account”.Services on the network have been disrupted for months because of a long-running dispute over the role of conductors as well as high levels of staff sickness.The Rail, Maritime and Transport union is holding a 48-hour strike on Wednesday and Thursday this week, which will cause fresh travel misery. The Association of British Commuters,  set up earlier this year because of the Southern problems, said it will be working closely with Devonshires solicitors to compile evidence of people losing their jobs because of cancelled trains, as well as the disruption to home and family during the chaos.An appeal was launched to raise money to fund the legal action.A statement said: “This is more than a legal crowdfunder – it is a crowd action – one that will require the involvement of commuters every step of the way.”We want to hear your stories in more depth and make sure you are listened to, not only by the press but by the High Court.”The crowdfunder aims to reach a target of £25,000 within the next 30 days.”With extremely generous rates from our legal firm and barrister, we at the Association of British Commuters will be doing much of the legwork ourselves, in order to make sure the money donated goes as far as possible.”Time is short and the situation is urgent – there is a strict time limit on launching Judicial Review claims – we need to act now and we need to act fast.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.center_img Group spokeswoman Summer Dean said: “We are taking this action in the name of every rail user who has suffered at the hands of Southern Rail.”We believe that the Government has been very quiet during this crisis and we are now ready to use the law to demand answers.”We need to question the fairness and legality of decisions of a Government who, in this particular case, seem more concerned with serving the interests of a private company whose first priority is their shareholders, rather than passengers who are paying for a service that they are not receiving.”Emily Yates, campaign coordinator, added: “With tens of thousands of commuters affected, we have had an incredible response from people offering their skills and resources to fight this ongoing injustice.”The Government announced last week it was setting up a £20 million fund aimed at resolving delays on Southern.Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said: “The strike action goes ahead as planned.”RMT remains available for serious talks but Govia Thameslink Railway clearly has no interest in resolving the dispute and it is also clear that the Government are propping them up, financially and politically.”Just a fraction of the £100 million the GTR parent company is hoarding in profits would be enough to keep a guard on the Southern trains, keep the trains safe and resolve the dispute.”last_img read more