Horton quits – now renationalise says RMT leader Cash

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THE boss of rail privateer, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is to resign after the company’s new timetables brought the railway to a near halt. He inflicted major disruption onto passengers as hundreds of trains were cancelled.

GTR, which runs Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern, said chief executive Charles Horton would remain in post for a short time to oversee the development of a temporary timetable.

Announcing his resignation, Horton said: ‘I recognise that passengers have been hugely frustrated at the significant disruption caused by the introduction of new timetables. ‘It is the right time to hand leadership of GTR to a new pair of hands.’

GTR – Britain’s largest rail franchise – changed the time of every train on its timetable on 20 May, preventing thousands of passengers getting to work. About 230 daily services were removed from GTR’s routes to make for a ‘more consistent timetable’, the company said.

Last week, it emerged the firm was using taxis to make sure students could get to exams on time.

And Horton admitted being delayed by his own trains.

General Secretary Mick Cash said: ‘For well over two years now RMT members fighting to defend safety and access have been subjected to abuse and hostility under the regime led by Charles Horton. ‘Mr Horton may now have gone but the rotten franchise he was steering remains in place and no change at the top will alter that. This whole basket case operation is a failure on every level. ‘The Horton resignation opens the door for the this sorry chapter to be brought to a close and that means sweeping GTR away and returning the services to public ownership with safety, access and quality the guiding priorities.’