‘All change, and fast’: Portsmouth MP after new report shows city rock bottom for train trouble

A new report from rail expert Sir Michael Holden has revealed journeys to and from Portsmouth are most disrupted on the line

MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, has said that rail bosses are failing people in Portsmouth after the South Western Railway Independent Review reported journey times to and from Portsmouth to be significantly worse that those to comparable destinations.

In his presentation to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Wessex Rail, Sir Michael revealed data that shows Right Time Arrival (MAA) for the Portsmouth line was only 47% in the last quarter. Other services including Weymouth South Hants, and Windsor all had MAA above 55%.

Mr Morgan, a founding member and officer of the Wessex Rail APPG has previously called on the Secretary of State, Chris Grayling, to intervene and ‘get a grip’ on Portsmouth’s train services.

The review puts increasing disruption down to a number of factors linked to the mismanagement of the service.

For example, an overuse of temporary and emergency speed restrictions in critical locations on the Wessex Route, a shortage of fully trained drivers, ageing assets, and a serious loss of operational expertise and command control capability in control function before and after a move to Basingstoke.

Stephen Morgan MP, said:

‘As a commuter myself, I’m as angry as anyone about the shambolic state of Portsmouth’s rail services. Passengers are paying through the nose and getting the region’s worst delays in return.

This report from Sir Michael brings into focus the failings of the train operators but, more importantly, shows what needs to be done to resolve them. I’m committed to working with the APPG and train bosses to ensure their rapid implementation.

I look forward to following up with rail officials and standing up for Portsmouth’s commuters, South Western Rail have a lot of explaining to do. But the buck stops at Chris Grayling’s desk, though if it’s being run by South Western Railway I doubt it’ll be on time.’