Legal action to take Thameslink, Southern & Great Northern back into public hands

27th January 2022 | News

Take Back TSGN

Today we’re launching legal action against the Department for Transport to stop them awarding the disgraced private company Govia a six-year contract to continue running rail services on Thameslink, Southern & Great Northern. Together these form Britain’s biggest rail franchise (known as TSGN), which has been dogged by problems since Govia first took over operations in 2015.

What’s more, the companies that own Govia – the Go-Ahead Group (65%) and Keolis (35%) – are currently under investigation for alleged serious and long-standing fraud on their other neighbouring rail franchise, Southeastern.

The situation on Southeastern became so bad, that the Department for Transport took action to bring it back into public ownership in October 2021.

If Southeastern can be brought back into public ownership, then Thameslink, Southern & Great Northern should be too!

This would provide much better value for money, and be more transparent and accountable to the public. In the long-term, it would also enable us to deliver a re-unified and integrated commuter railway – improving connections with Transport for London and across the SouthEast.

If you’d like to help us #TakeBackTSGN, then please make a pledge on our CrowdJustice page.

Pledge Now

We’re kickstarting this case with the funds left over from our successful legal action to make the East Coast mainline public in 2018.

We’re looking for further contributions from supporters to help us meet our £20,000 target before the deadline on 23 February 2022.

Our Lawyers’ Correspondence

1 February 2022: Devonshires to Department for Transport
11 February 2022: Devonshires to Department for Transport
16 February 2022: Department for Transport to Devonshires
2 March 2022: Department for Transport to Devonshires
22 March 2022: Devonshires to Department for Transport
25 March 2022: Devonshires to Serious Fraud Office
7 April 2022: Devonshires to Department for Transport

Freedom of Information Requests

25 January 2022: Department for Transport to Bring Back British Rail
4 February 2022: Department for Transport to Association of British Commuters

Media Coverage

• 27 January 2022, ‘New legal campaign to take Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern into public ownership’, Association of British Commuters
• 27 January 2022, ‘Commuters start legal case to re-nationalise Southern Rail’, Inside Croydon
• 3 February 2022, ‘Government faces legal threat over Southern, Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Great Northern Rail’, ITV News
• 10 February 2022, ‘Details of Go-Ahead rail scandal kept secret’, The Times
• 14 February 2022, ‘Department for Transport hides scandalous report on Go-Ahead fraud investigation’, Association of British Commuters
• 24 February 2022, ‘Dramatic increase to £80m in cost of Southeastern train accounting scandal’, The Guardian
• 24 February 2022, ‘£81.3m fine strengthens case against Southern’s new franchise’, Inside Croydon
• 28 February 2022, Fifteen years of fraud: allegations against The Go-Ahead Group have doubled in scale, Association of British Commuters
• 22 March 2022, Govia Ltd: the biggest rail corruption scandal since privatisation, Association of British Commuters
• 22 March 2022, Government is about to let #SouthernFail off the hook again, Inside Croydon
• 7 April 2022, The Rail Privatisation Scam, Tribune