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GTR boss to step down

Govia Thameslink train at Blackfriars station

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) CEO Charles Horton is to resign from his role as the firm continues to battle disruption caused by the introduction of a new timetable.

GTR, which runs Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern, said Horton would remain in his post to oversee the development of a temporary timetable.

The franchise owner is in hot water with passengers after a new timetable introduced on 20 May caused chaos on many lines, with thousands of services cancelled – sometimes without warning.

Announcing his resignation, Horton said it was “time to hand leadership of GTR to a new pair of hands.”

He commented: “I recognise that passengers have been hugely frustrated at the significant disruption caused by the introduction of new timetables.”

However, Horton said he’s “immensely proud of my team and I would like to thank my 7,000 colleagues at GTR for all their hard work over the past four years.”

Commenting on the news, RMT union general secretary Mick Cash said: “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.”

GTR is a subsidiary of Govia, which is a joint venture between the Go-Ahead Group and Keolis.

David Brown, group CEO of Go-Ahead Group, said: “I would like to thank Charles for his hard work with Govia for the past 15 years. Under often challenging conditions, he has built a team to deliver the largest railway change programme for decades, on a franchise that is not only the UK’s biggest, but which has also seen the highest passenger growth.

“We are committed to working with the Department for Transport and Network Rail to address recent problems and to deliver a reliable, punctual service for passengers.”

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