Chris Grayling

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Chris Grayling 'hasn't got the message'

train timetable
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As we reported earlier, transport secretary Chris Grayling has been heavily criticised by MPs for not being proactive enough in preventing the chaos following May's new timetables.

In a scathing report on May's timetable changes, the Transport Committee said "genuine change" was needed to restore trust in the railways.

Chair Lilian Greenwood says Mr Grayling still "hasn't got the message".

She is urging ministers to act on the committee's recommendation that 2019 fares are discounted for passengers who've suffered the worse disruption.

"Ministers need to listen and think again, urgently," she says.

Transport secretary admits he should have better scrutinised summer rail timetable changes
Transport secretary admits he should have better scrutinised summer rail timetable changes.

Grayling: I should have done more about rail chaos

The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has accepted he "didn't ask tough enough questions" about timetable changes in May that led to hundreds of services being cancelled and trains being stopped altogether for weeks on the Lakes Line from Oxenholme to Windermere.

Chris Grayling
BBC

In a report today the Commons Transport Select Committee criticised the lack of direction from the top, with no one actually taking charge.

The reality is that at no point did I get the information I would have needed to intervene, and we must make sure that never happens again and I absolutely accept responsibility for my department and myself not asking tough-enough questions.

Chris Grayling

They are now so full that you cannot have a railway as fragmented as it is at the moment, and that in my view is the most significant underlying problem.

The mistake I've made is to say we will change that through a process of evolution, which we had started, we now need a revolution."

Grayling: HS2 has to live within budget

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

The Transport Secretary is dismissive of the railway expert, Michael Byng, who said that the cost of HS2 will double.

"I'm very clear on HS2. It's got a budget and it's got to live within that budget. The budget is 55 and a half billion pounds at 2014 prices. That's all there's going to be."

"Michael Byng has being saying a lot of things. He's not somebody who's entirely well respected in his part of the industry and I would question his judgement on this. He is not somebody I know of being an authoritative source about the finances of HS2."

Grayling: Not enough 'accountability'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

"The real lesson that came out of earlier this year and the Glaister report is that our rail industry is too fragmented - accountability is too fragmented to deal with the pressures on it," said Transport Sec

"The system is bursting at the seems and actually there isn't enough clear line of accountability to actually run the railway properly.

"The reality is that the system is full."

He gives the example of between Wimbledon and Waterloo where, in the morning there are 19 trains at the peak time. That is busy as any railway line in Europe he says.

"If the slightest thing goes wrong then it can disrupt the network significantly," Mr Grayling says.

Grayling: 'I did not get the information'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary
PA

The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is on the Today Programme being asked if he should take responsibility for the meltdown over railway timetables changes earlier this year.

"At no point did I get the information that I would have needed to intervene," he told the Today Programme.

"A couple of weeks before this timetable was introduced, the leaders of the industry, the independent body that had been set up to monitor the preparedness of the timetable change sat in my office and said it would be fine."

"I accept responsibility for myself and the department not asking tough enough questions," he said.

Transport minister to announce Whitehaven road scheme

The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling will be in Cumbria this afternoon to announce a public consultation about changes to the A595 around Whitehaven.

Details of the road improvement scheme that will be outlined by Mr Grayling haven't yet been made public, but work is not expected to start before 2025.

Chris Grayling
BBC

This shows our cast-iron commitment to Cumbria, as we deliver the investment needed to provide businesses and commuters with more reliable and resilient journeys.”

Chris Grayling