If you live near London, you stand on the train

26 June 2009

Keith Ludeman, the chief executive of Go-Ahead which includes Southern, Southeastern and London Midland said in an interview with the Financial Times this week that rail passengers shouldn’t expect a seat in the London area. Rail union leader Keith Norman says his namesake’s remarks ‘show a remarkably relaxed attitude towards his passengers’ discomfort’.


‘I would have expected the head of a rail franchise to want to offer commuters better than the facilities of a cattle-truck,’ Keith says. ‘Perhaps I just haven’t been won over to the idea of a railway where profits are more important than people.'


In an interview with the Financial Times this week, Mr Ludeman said, ‘It’s not unreasonable to expect someone to stand’ adding, ‘If you’re coming up from the coast you might expect to get a seat but your chances are reduced closer to London.’


This is undeniably true at the moment – but ASLEF thought Mr Ludeman was supposed to be making attempts to remedy this. ‘His companies’ franchise bids included the recognition of the need to improve capacity standards,’ Keith Norman says. ‘We have been talking to them about longer and more frequent services. I would have hoped that the chief executive of the umbrella group would have shown some enthusiasm for this process.’


  • Go Ahead announced a rise in revenue of almost 8% in the year ending this month – something it put down to increased passenger numbers
  • A study last year revealed that Britain has the most expensive commuter system network in Europe.
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