Chiltern Railways is facing a £500,000 fine from the Government due to breaches of its franchise agreement.
The penalty for the company is due to the late delivery of two station improvement projects and changing timetables without permission.
A letter from the Department for Transport says the fine is ‘a consequence of a number of contraventions of the terms of its Franchise Agreement by the company.’
It also states that ‘while these contraventions have subsequently been remedied, the Secretary of State has concluded, in the light of the Department’s published Enforcement Policy, that a financial penalty is appropriate.’
It is thought that the penalty fine will come into force in June this year and Chiltern have until May 5 to comment.
Chiltern however, insist the breaches of the agreement were minor.
Chiltern Railways chairman Adrian Shooter said:
“It would be a cause for enormous regret if £500,000 were diverted from investment in improvement for passengers as a result of low-impact franchise breaches.”
“We accept that, in 2009, there were four technical breaches of the franchise agreement, none of which had significant consequence for our passengers or incurred cost to the taxpayer.
“The most serious breaches were a 16-week delay in commissioning new lifts at a single station, and a four-week delay in installing a new shelter on a platform that already had one.”