Passengers have branded Southern Rail “outrageous”. Because the boss of the embattled rail company has just seen his pay double. The news comes after passengers said one of its stations had turned into “hell on Earth”.
You’re running one of the worst rail companies. So here’s another £200k
Southern Rail has repeatedly hit the headlines in the past year. It’s one of the worst performing rail companies for punctuality, with less than 50% of its trains arriving [pdf] at their destination on time. And the National Rail Passenger Survey named it one of the worst rail companies in Britain.
As The Canary previously reported, the government announced in September 2016 an extra £20m for GTR. This was to try and sort out the rail operator’s mess. And it was coming from public money. But there was an almighty slap in the face for passengers and workers alike. Southern Rail had actually just increased its profits to nearly £100m. Also trade unions are currently in a protracted industrial dispute with Southern Rail about driver-only operation (DOO) trains.
The news comes after chaos at Brighton Station on Sunday 9 April. Passengers said it was “hell on Earth” there after the Brighton marathon, amid cancellations and delays:
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
— Association of British Commuters (@ABCommuters) April 9, 2017
Brighton station is hell on Earth. pic.twitter.com/bvGyEJwXVS
— Hayley Leaver (@hayleyrose) April 9, 2017
Southern were "not expecting it to be that busy" after a sodding marathon. Well done Southern.
— Mart-kos (@to_be_warlike) April 9, 2017
Southern Rail said:
[There were] a number of incidents affecting the service including several infrastructure failures in London and a broken down train at Preston Park station. All of these have contributed to delays and cancellations, leading to crowding at Brighton station and on board both Southern and Thameslink services.
Epic fail, Southern Rail
But the Association of British Commuters (ABC) told The Canary:
Southern Rail users are outraged by this news. But the more interesting story is why he hasn’t resigned. Southern is a subcontractor to the government and it is well known that they are intensively micro-managed by the Department for Transport.
Compare the comments of Southern’s parent company CEO David Brown, in defence of its plummeting share price: ‘We haven’t actually done anything wrong in this contract – we’ve done the things we were asked to do by the government in the interests of the customers.’
We don’t know exactly what bonuses and conditions lie behind their heavily redacted ‘management contract’ but his payrise tells us that Horton is in fact doing his job very well. It’s just his job description we are unfamiliar with. Suffice to say, this may have more to do with stripping costs to the core and running an industrial dispute by proxy than actually providing a good service.
There is a warped logic in Southern’s boss getting such a huge pay rise when the company is performing so appallingly. But, when it comes to privatised public services, logic always appears to go out of the window, anyway. So, it’s really just business as usual for the UK’s embattled rail network.
– Read more from The Canary on Southern Rail.
Featured image via Hayley Leaver
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?