A key to The Key

Photo Credit: Southeastern

Southeastern launched their smartcard ticket on Monday. They had an event at Sevenoaks station. The Rail Minister Paul Maynard was there: we thought that he looked a bit embarassed – perhaps because his Department apparently paid Southeastern £5.5m to implement a system less capable than Oyster ten years later than TfL. Continue reading

Rail devolution in the South East: time for everyone to speak up!

20160131-dft-tfl-partnershipStories have been circulating for a few days that the devolution of Metro South Eastern rail services to Transport for London, and the associated benefits for longer-distance commuters may be torpedoed by the Department for Transport in coming weeks.

Today’s announcement by the Secretary of State is silent on this. Instead it’s about some reorganisation within the rail industry, So it doesn’t address the issues of better services for customers, more focus on supporting economic growth in the region, stronger management of train operators, and greater local accountability that his own Department promised in January.

It’s time for members and others to make their voice heard again. Otherwise the opportunity will be lost for a further cycle and we’ll be stuck with another franchise on the current, failing, model.

Continue reading

An Otford dilemma: is buying a ticket worth an hour’s extra wait?

21061130-thameslink-logoSRTA Supporter Babette Wood writes from Otford:

The City Thameslink Service from Otford has been completely unreliable in November.

To add insult to injury Southeastern are issuing penalty fares to people who are left in the predicament of either jumping on a train that appears at the station at unpredictable times (usually late with the normal train cancelled) without a ticket, or buying a ticket for a cancelled train. Continue reading

How Southeastern made £15.9m from delay compensation

20161117-compensationFigures published this morning show that Southeastern’s compensation and Delay Repay payments to customers in 2015-16 were £2.270m – an increase of 68% in 2014-15.

But other figures from Network Rail show that  Southeastern were paid £18.217m in the same period in compensation for unplanned delays caused by Network Rail infrastructure (approximately 65-70% of all delays).

That means that Southeastern made an overall net surplus of £15.947m on delay compensation. And that’s after Southeastern have used Network Rail money to compensate passengers for delays due to Southeastern.  Continue reading