Pay of Southern rail boss close to £500k despite strikes and delays

Bradley Gerrard
Charles Horton

The salary paid to the boss of Southern rail touched almost £500,000 last year even as the company continues to battle with unions.

Charles Horton's pay rose 0.4pc from £493,000 in Govia Thameslink Railway's 2014/15 financial year to £495,000 in the most recent financial year, ending July 2 2016.

Southern's services have been hit by strikes Credit: Philip Toscano /PA

His salary increases despite Govia Thameslink losing more than £15m in the 2016 financial year.

Southern has been dogged by disputes with unions over which staff members should close train doors. Govia wants to make drivers responsible for closing doors and make guards “on board supervisors” who deal with passenger queries.

The company said that it ran 95pc of train services during the last strike, which took place on Saturday – the 31st stoppage since the start of the row a year ago.

Go-Ahead, Govia’s parent company, said last month it could lose £15 million from the dispute with the RMT Union.

David Brown, the chief executive of Go-Ahead, said roughly 40pc of Southern trains operate with drivers controlling the doors.

Route map of Southern and Gatwick Express rail lines

A report by Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways, concluded that driver-only operated trains were a “safe method of working”.

But the RMT dismissed the report as a “whitewash”.

A Govia spokesman said: “As a matter of policy we do not discuss the remuneration of any of our employees.”

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