"Poor and unreliable" - verdict of damning Southern Rail report

"Poor and unreliable" - that's the verdict of a damning report into Southern Rail Credit: PA

"Poor and unreliable" - that's the verdict of a damning report into Southern Rail. The long-awaited investigation has found all parts of the company have been under strain.

Problems highlighted in the Gibb Report include an "unreliable infrastructure", overcrowded trains and stations, and the strikes which have disrupted hundreds of thousands of commuters over the last year.

The Report largely blames the unions for the company's problems, while union, Aslef, says its down to the company because of their failure to engage with them over driver-only trains.

Conservative MP Huw Merriman for Bexhill & Battle says he's "delighted the report has finally been published":

What is the Gibb Report?

Last year, the Secretary of State for Transport commissioned Chris Gibb, a non-executive Network Rail director with more than 30 years’ experience in the industry, to prepare a report outlining the issues affecting the Southern Rail network's performance.

Gibb was tasked with recommending how to resolve these, and other issues directly related, including the Thameslink 2018 operation.

That report has now been published by the Department for Transport.

What does the Aslef union think about the findings?

Responding to the Gibb Report, Mick Whelan, Aslef general secretary, said:

I note Chris Gibb states that no single party is responsible for Southern Rail's performance. He's right. It's a combination of the Department for Transport and GTR/Southern deliberately provoking an industrial dispute.

Mick Whelan, Aslef general secretary

What does the RMT union think about the findings?

Responding to the Gibb Report, Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said:

No wonder the Government have sat on the Gibb report for seven months. It's taken them that long to slice and fillet it into a document that they can spin as an attack on the unions and the staff.

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary

What does Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), Southern's parent company, think about the findings?

Responding to the Gibb Report, Charles Horton, GTR's Chief Executive, said:

We are grateful to Chris Gibb for his thorough review of the challenges GTR has to face on the Southern network. It is the most congested railway in the UK with passenger journeys doubling in just 12 years.

Charles Horton, Chief Executive Officer, Govia Thameslink Railway