The Association of British Commuters announces court date over Southern rail legal claim after judicial review is refused

Rebecca Smith
A protest was staged at Victoria last year over the government's handling of the Southern rail troubles
A protest was staged at Victoria last year over the government's handling of the Southern rail troubles (Source: Getty)

Campaigners pursuing a legal challenge over the government's handling of the Southern rail crisis have announced the date of a public court hearing later this month, after their application for a judicial review was refused.

The Association of British Commuters (ABC) has a public permission hearing on 29 June after their application for a judicial review was refused by a judge last month.

Read more: Southern Fail: The Musical is coming to a theatre near you next month

The campaigners said the grounds of the case centre around "government accountability around transport policy" and "equality of disabled access to UK rail".

They have launched another legal crowdfunding campaign to support taking the case further.

ABC co-founder Emily Yates said: "With half of our case being based on the issue of the government’s unreasonable delay in acting on Southern rail – the irony is that our case has only got stronger in the four and a half months it has been under consideration. This case has already been delayed beyond any of our expectations and it is now long past time for us to meet the DfT in court.”

A DfT spokesperson said: “It would be inappropriate to comment on legal proceedings.”

Southern rail has been troubled by a long-running row over the role of conductors, with both the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and train drivers' union Aslef staging numerous strikes over the issue.

The RMT said today it will be considering the next steps in its dispute this week.

There have also been calls for the government to publish a report looking at troubles at the train operator, after it was pushed back until after the election.

The DfT received the report at the end of last year and has faced calls to publish its contents and provide more insight into the running of the train operator.

Rail minister Paul Maynard said at the time that the government intends to publish the report "in full, with minor redactions to protect commercially sensitive material, and the government's response, in due course".

Read more: Government delays report on Southern rail troubles until after the election

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