A rail company is saying the key to fixing delays and cancellations on the tracks is to scrap services altogether.

This news comes as 20 MPs, including Croydon's Sarah Jones and Steve Reed, penned a letter to the Department of Transport claiming that Govia Thameslink Railway knew about the cancellations of Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern rail networks "hours before informing customers."

Many of us have been contacted by constituents who have been late for work, medical appointments or to meet their children due to train cancellations," the letter addressed to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, said.

"This anger has only been worsened by poor communication between GTR and passengers regarding delays, with reports that GTR have known of cancellations hours before informing customers.

"There have been widespread reports of overcrowding on platforms and on trains, as well as significant issues faced by disabled passengers needing to travel.

This claim was refuted by GTR, but it admitted it was now cancelling services as a way to reduce the amount of delayed and cancelled trains.

"We are working with industry colleagues to introduce changes that will progressively deliver improvement," a GTR spokesman said.

"In the meantime, we have removed around 230 trains from the Thameslink and Great Northern timetables this week so there are fewer unplanned cancellations, allowing passengers to arrange their journeys with greater confidence.

“This amounts to six per cent of the 3,600 daily journeys across the GTR network.

"Additionally, we have buses to cover some service gaps – these are also showing in online journey planners such as National Rail Enquiries. However, as normal we ask passengers to check before they travel.”

In the letter it said GTR had failed to "deliver anything remotely close to a decent service" which resulted in 455 GTR services cancelled or delayed in just one day.

The spokesman for GTR apologised for the issues.

“We always said it would be challenging and we apologise sincerely for the significant disruption being experienced by passengers," he said.

"Delayed approval of the timetable led to an unexpected need to substantially adjust our plans and resources in an unexpectedly short time-frame."

A meeting between the MPs and the transport minister is due to take place today.