The Transport Secretary has announced that an independent inquiry will be launched after two weeks of chaos on the rail network.

Commuters on the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) line, including St Albans, Harpenden, Borehamwood, Radlett, and Barnet have faced a series of delays and cancellations after a new timetable was brought in.

Addressing the House of Commons yesterday (Monday) Chris Grayling apologised for the disruption and promised an inquiry into what has happened.

In a statement in the Commons, Mr Grayling revealed that GTR “assured him personally that they were ready” just three weeks before services were rescheduled on May 20.

He said: "The rail industry has collectively failed to deliver for the passengers it serves.

"It's right that the industry has apologised for the situation that we are currently in and that we learn the lessons for the future."

News of an inquiry has been welcomed by Hertfordshire County Council.

Leader of the council David Williams said: “We’re pleased and welcome the announcement by the Transport Secretary for an independent inquiry into the handling of train timetables by the rail industry as a whole.

“Hertfordshire residents have faced weeks of disruption and frustration after they were given false promises of a ‘soft’ introduction for the new train timetables.

"We are particularly concerned that the train operators were so inadequately prepared for the timetable changes. There can be no let-up in the steps they are taking to stabilise the networks.”

St Albans MP Anne Main has met with Mr Grayling and described the disruption caused to passengers “unacceptable”.

She said: “I have said it so many times before but St Albans commuters pay exorbitant fees for this service and the misery that has been inflicted on them is outrageous."

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

St Albans MP Anne Main with Chris Grayling

She added: “I appreciate the secretary of state taking the time to listen to my concerns but change needs to happen fast. The priority is to get the service running to the level commuters expect and when the dust settles we need a thorough investigation into how this shambles took place.”

Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden, who has also held a meeting with Mr Grayling added: “As a commuter on the line myself, I know how awful it's been in recent days. I raised a number of points in my meeting and Mr Grayling is in no doubt about the scale of the disruption, frustration and damage caused by the chaos of the new timetable.”

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Oliver Dowden (left) with Chris Grayling

GTR released a joint statement with Network Rail last week where they apologised for the delays and said it was “working hard to bring greater consistency” to the timetable as soon as possible.

A petition calling for GTR to be scrapped of its contract has reached more than 15,000 signatures.