\u201cThe government is holding\u00a0GTR\u00a0to account for their role in the\u00a0unacceptable performance following the introduction of the May timetable,\u201d says Mr Chris Grayling, secretary of state for transport.\u00a0\u201cGTR\u00a0will make no profit from its franchise in this financial year and looking ahead, we have also capped the amount of profit that the operator is able to make for the remainder of its franchise, which is due to expire in September 2021.\r\n\r\n\u201cFurthermore,\u00a0GTR\u00a0will be contributing \u00a315m towards tangible improvements for passengers. This is in addition to the \u00a315m the operator has already contributed towards compensation for passengers since the May timetable disruption.\u00a0GTR\u00a0has agreed to work with the rail user groups representing passengers of Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern, who will determine what improvements this package will fund.\u201d\r\n\r\nHowever, Grayling has ruled out early termination of the GTR franchise as he says it \u201cwould cause further and undue disruption for passengers and is not an appropriate course of action.\u201d\r\n\r\nGrayling also says the DfT will continue to monitor GTR\u2019s performance, particularly during the launch of the new timetable on December 10, which will see the introduction of another 200 services on weekdays. \u201cThese measures do not make\u00a0GTR\u00a0immune from further sanctions in the event of any subsequent failure to perform,\u201d Grayling warned.\r\n\r\nThe May timetable expanded the original Bedford - Brighton\/Sutton Thameslink network to Peterborough, Cambridge, Horsham, Orpington, East Grinstead and Rainham, but resulted in widespread disruption and cancellations of train services. GTR says it has processed compensation claims for 68,000 season ticket holders and has extended the deadline for claims to January 31 2019.\r\n\r\nGrayling\u2019s announcement follows the publication of reports into disruption to rail services across the country resulting from the May 20 timetable change by the British parliament\u2019s Transport Committee on December 4, and a three-month inquiry by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) led by Professor Stephen Glaister. However, Grayling\u2019s decision to sanction GTR ignores the role his own department played in the timetable fiasco.\r\n\r\nThe Transport Committee report says the May timetable change involved 43,200 individual changes to the national timetable and affected 46% of passenger services. \u201cThe implementation was chaotic and resulted in a prolonged period of intensely inconvenient, costly and potentially dangerous disruption for passengers across the north of England and in London and the south,\u201d says the Transport Committee. \u201cThe crisis was partly due to the astonishing complexity of a fragmented railway in which inter-related private train companies, operating on publicly-owned and managed infrastructure, have competing commercial interests. This complex system could not cope with the scale of the changes.\u00a0There was a collective, system-wide failure across Network Rail (NR), the privately-owned train operating companies, the DfT and the ORR. Governance and decision-making processes were not fit for purpose.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe Transport Committee wants:\r\n\r\n \teffective oversight of the next national rail timetable changes\r\n \tindependent oversight of the timetabling process\r\n \tthe worst-affected 2018 season ticket holders to receive a discount on 2019 season tickets\r\n \teffective contingency plans for disabled passengers and stringent enforcement, and\r\n \tthe introduction of automatic compensation schemes.\r\n\r\nThe Glaister inquiry also found that NR, GTR, Northern, the DfT, and the ORR all made mistakes, which contributed to the collapse of services, particularly on the GTR and Northern routes. \u201cThe System Operator (SO) function within NR\u00a0was in the best position to understand and manage the risks, but did not take sufficient action, especially in the critical period of autumn 2017,\u201d the inquiry says. \u201cNeither GTR nor Northern were properly aware of or prepared for the problems in delivering the timetable and they did not do enough to provide accurate information to passengers when disruption occurred. Both DfT and ORR are responsible for overseeing aspects of the industry, but neither sufficiently questioned the assurances they received from the industry about the risk of disruption.\r\n\r\n\u201cThere is an apparent gap in industry responsibility and accountability for managing systemic risks, and that needs to change,\u201d the inquiry concludes.