Govia Thameslink has been barred from running ads that claim the Gatwick Express will get travellers to central London in 30 minutes.
Ads from the company read: “Our trains run every 15 minutes, taking you between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport in just 30 minutes.”
However, the Advertising Standards Authority said frequent delays meant the claim could not be substantiated and was “misleading”.
During the investigation Gatwick Express provided data which showed that between April 30th, 2017, and May 30th, 2018, a total of 79.1 per cent of scheduled trains between Victoria and Gatwick Airport arrived at their destination on time.
Operator Govia also said a new timetable was introduced on May 20th this year and that they were currently updating all third-party media sites to reflect the new timetable and would remove the claims in question.
However, the submissions were rejected by the Advertising Standards Authority, which ruled the ads must be removed.
“While we acknowledged that consumers would appreciate that train services were occasionally subject to unforeseeable delays, we nevertheless considered that consumers would expect that the Gatwick Express achieved the stated journey time barring exceptional or unforeseeable circumstances outside of their control,” explained a statement.
“While we acknowledged that a proportion of services were delayed due to exceptional or unforeseeable circumstances outside of Gatwick Express’ control, such as track faults, fatalities and power supply failures, we considered that a significant proportion of services were delayed for reasons that were within Gatwick Express’ control.”
The Govia Thameslink Railway franchise also includes Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern.
The company said in a statement this morning: “Just a third of Gatwick Express delay minutes were within our control.
“However, we began withdrawing these adverts many months ago and acknowledge the ASA ruling.”