ANGRY and disappointed Thurrock councillors lambasted rail company c2c for failing to attend their meeting as promised on Wednesday (2 March) evening.
At their last ordinary meeting in January, the Planning, Transport, and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee heard from c2c about the problems the company was having introducing a new timetable.
The company said they would return to the March meeting with an update – they provided papers only.
Cllr Brian Little, chair of the committee, said afterwards: “Members of the committee were quite angry, as was I.
“The fact c2c didn’t come is appalling, but equally as poor is the fact they provided little more than a single sheet of paper with a short statement on it. Additional material was only obtained after our officers continually pressed them for more information.
“It showed disrespect not only to the committee, but to the people of Thurrock as well.”
The committee heard that Cllr Little and cabinet portfolio holder Cllr Oliver Gerrish would me meeting with c2c directly in the next few weeks.
Cllr Little said: “There was a little bit of sympathy for the company as their plan for more carriages had fallen through, but equally we were concerned about whether the continued problems on what used to be one of the best run railways in the country – if not Europe – put their franchise at risk.
“We were told the rail regulator is watching the situation ‘very closely’.
“We will be asking some very searching questions of c2c when we meet and we will be keeping up the pressure on them to sort out these problems.
“One of the things we want to see is for c2c to reimburse passengers if the carriages are jammed and it is standing-room only for any length of time.
“Last month the council agreed a motion calling on c2c to return to its pre-December timetable and we will be asking where they are with that too.”