Our Crowd Justice fundraiser for a Judicial Review into the Department for Transport’s handling of the Southern Rail crisis concluded on September 7th, raising a total of £26,290 to fund the application stage of a judicial review.
Our lawyers have been corresponding with the Department for Transport throughout September, requesting essential documents concerning the breach notice of July 2015, a full copy of February’s remedial plan, and other documents referred to in the franchise agreement.
They have also inquired about the £20 million ‘improvement fund’ announced on September 1st 2016, learning that this is being taken from Network Rail’s existing budget for Control Period 5. Please note, this is a budget that has already considerably overspent.
On Tuesday 4th October, the DfT released one of our list of essential documents, withholding the others on the basis of ‘commercial interest’. They are now taking a twenty working day extension on our FOI request, and we expect a final answer on 4th November.
View the Breach Notice served by the Secretary of State on Govia on July 7th 2015 here: 150707-gtr-remedial-plan-notice-signed_redacted
We are so far unable to reveal the potential grounds we’ll be proceeding on with the application for judicial review, because of the duty of legal privilege. The Department for Transport’s handling of the Southern Rail franchise remains central to our discussions and we will let you know more as the case progresses.