Thursday 1 June 2017

Thameslink - How Matthew Offord has failed commuters and children since 2010

If you commute from Mill Hill or any of the other overground rail stations in the London Borough of Barnet, you will be using Thameslink. This company is run by Govia and was granted the franchise a couple of years back. Despite huge, inflation busting fare rises since 2010, when Matthew Offord was elected, the service has got worse. Last night at the Edgware Hustings, I sepcifically asked Offord a question about local transport. He said  that "rail privatisation was a victim of its own success". It certainly doesn't seem like that from a Mill Hill perspective. As a Mill Hill commuter, in the days of British Rail, we had eight rush hour trains an hour. The marvellous success of privatisation has reduced this to six. The result? Overcrowding. Thameslink have helpfully added a feature to their website called "finding a quieter train". So what does this show for Mill Hill Broadway?

The answer? If you need to get into town before 9am and get a seat,  you need to be at the station before 6.52am. Does this sound like "success" to you? As to performance, this is also listed.

As you can see, this is pretty catastrophic as well. If Mr Offord considers this "success" it is no wonder that the company thinks it can deliver a shoddy service. Mr Offord's answer to the problems of overcrowding, pollution and road accidents was "more electric cars". He stated that the reason for the high rate of accidents was the large number of big roads, controlled by TFL (which Boris ran until last year). He made absolutely no reference to cycling or bus services. He did acknowledge that Mill Hill Bus station had the worst air quality in the Borough, but had no plan to protect the hundreds of school children who are poisoned by this on a daily basis. He has been MP since 2010. Things have got worse. The man is complacent and has no plan. He simply thinks it is all spiffing. I can only wonder what planet he's on.

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