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The new Passenger Services Directors are setting out plans as the train company Southern joins the Govia Thameslink franchise.

Southern and Gatwick Express retained their identity when they became part of the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise (GTR) on the 26th July.

David Scorey, the Passenger Services Director for Southern Mainline and Coast, said: “One of my key priorities is to improve the reliability of our services. With the new timetable in place our passengers should already have noticed a change for the better, and we will work hard to continue this progress.”

The GTR franchise will see the introduction of three new train fleets, 10,000 additional peak-time seats into London, a £50 million investment in station improvements and a transformation in train travel in 2018 when it is completed by the Thameslink Programme.

There are more improvements planned for the franchise and to find more detail about what can be expected click here.

“Many passengers already use ticketing smartcards and I aim to build on this, as it’s not just more convenient, but also helps us to understand passengers’ travel needs,” said Alex Foulds, the Passenger Services Director for Southern Metro. “I’ll also make sure that they have clean and well-maintained stations and trains, with good facilities and shops.”

The investment in GTR means that there is funding available for more CCTV, toilet refurbishments, retail facilities, help points and car park improvements. In addition, there are plans for increased motorcycle storage and improved transport integration.

The new franchise holds 22% of all UK passengers, employs 6,500 people, and has £1.3 billion annual revenue and a £50 million investment to enhance all 239 stations. There will also be an upgrade to trains, with 1,398 new train carriages and additional morning peak seats into London.

Angie Doll, the Passenger Services Director for Gatwick Express, said: “My overall priority is to improve passengers’ experience of travelling on Gatwick Express from start to finish, so we’re working much more closely with Gatwick Airport to make sure our services are integrated.”

GTR release a twice-yearly customer report called Connections. Readers of this will be able to keep track of whether GTR has met its targets and commitments and also read about GTR’s plans for the future. Customers will also be able to read about the improvements that the franchise has made according to the feedback they got from the public.

Connections can be downloaded here.

More information can be found on the Southern railway website and the Gatwick Express website.