Keith’s Travel Diary April 2017

A total of 80 minutes lateness.

Delay Repay Claims: total 1 January 2017 to 30 April 2017 inclusive = £47.90

Keith is a SRTA member and a regular commuter from Bat & Ball to London via Sevenoaks. Each month he gives his personal experiences and views.

Week of 03 April 2017

Total lateness 17 minutes: Southeastern 4, Thameslink 13

  • Monday 03 April – Yet another week has passed and there is no change to the number of lights requiring to be repaired at Bat & Ball station; five not working, one flickering intermittently. Some of the fluorescent tubes that illuminate the waiting areas now require replacing. It is now well over three months since the faulty lighting was first reported to Southeastern. However, over the weekend the non-slip surfaces on the footbridge have been renewed: they needed to be! I noticed this evening that a window in the up platform shelter and the ticket machine screen had been vandalised at Bat & Ball station.
  • Tuesday 04 April – A bad start to the day. The 06.16 to Blackfriars was expected at 06.20 and the 06.24 to Sevenoaks was due at 06.29. The 06.24 arrived at Sevenoaks five minutes late at 06.32 just in time to watch the 06.31 to Charing Cross departing. Accordingly, I travelled on the 06.41 to Waterloo East which arrived there two minutes early. However; the late running Thameslink train actually delayed my arrival in London by eleven minutes.
  • Wednesday 05 April – Thameslink excelled themselves this morning; the 06.24 to Sevenoaks arrived there thirty seconds early! The 06.31 to Waterloo East also did well today arriving two minutes early. This evening more improvements at Bat & Ball station were evident; a new hand rail has been installed on the down platform side footbridge steps, presumably the up-platform side will also be done.
  • Thursday 06 April – A new hand rail has been installed today on the up-platform side footbridge steps. The ticket machine screen at Bat & Ball station had been replaced today.
  • Friday 07 April – The ticket machine screen at Bat & Ball station has been vandalised again.

Week of 10 April 2017

Total lateness 46 minutes: Southeastern 1, Thameslink 45

  • Monday 10 April – Another week has passed and there is no change to the number of lights requiring to be repaired at Bat & Ball station; five not working, one flickering intermittently. The ticket machine had been repaired since Friday. It is interesting that revenue earning items receive prompt attention but safety related issues (the platform lights for example), do not! Not a good start to the week by Thameslink who were experiencing problems with signals in the Loughborough Junction area. According to the BBC ten minute delays were to be expected. The 06.24 to Sevenoaks was cancelled today. The 06.42 was running late and missed the 06.49 to Waterloo East. I travelled to London on the 07.03 departure: my actual journey was delayed by thirty-three minutes this morning.
  • British Sea Power

    Wednesday 12 April – I returned to London later in the day because I was going to a gig at the Shepherds Bush Empire to see British Sea Power play. I travelled on the 17.32 from Otford to Victoria which arrived one minute late. I returned on the 23.22 from Victoria to Otford which was on time. At Victoria the departure board advised passengers that the 23.22 service to Ashford International was calling Bromley South, St Mary Cray, Swanley, Eynsford, Shoreham and Otford. Normally this service calls at Bromley South, St Mary Cray, Swanley, and Otford. On board the train information screen displayed the usual stopping pattern and the train did only stop at the timetabled stations; hopefully nobody requiring Eynsford or Shoreham boarded the train!

  • Friday 14 April – I travelled to Margate today. Due to engineering work the best route was via Bromley South. The 09.03 from Bat & Ball arrived at Bromley South one minute early. Interestingly, the fare from Bat & Ball to Margate with a Gold Card discount, “valid on any permitted route”, is £20.00. However, the fare from Swanley to Margate with a Gold Card discount, “valid on any permitted route” is more expensive at £22.15! It is also not valid via Bromley South, travelling via Bromley South is faster than the direct route from Swanley.

Week of 17 April 2017

Total lateness 5 minutes, Southeastern 3, Thameslink 2

  • Tuesday 18 April – My destination is Bridgnorth today. I commenced my journey on the 06.10 from Sevenoaks to Cannon Street where the train arrived two minutes early. My journey to and from Bridgnorth from Euston via Birmingham and Kidderminster was uneventful and to time. I returned from London on the 20.19 from London Bridge. This train was one minute early at Sevenoaks. The 21.00 to Bat & Ball was on time.
  • Thursday 20 April – A pleasant surprise this morning as I returned to work after my Easter break; the majority of the platform lights at Bat & Ball station that have not been working for months have been repaired! I will continue to monitor those that are still not working. The 06.24 to Sevenoaks arrived there one minute late. The 06.31 to Waterloo East was one minute early today. On this train the conductor was checking tickets and “The Key”. The handheld reader that he was using to check the details held on “The Key” that some passengers offered when asked for their tickets failed to read “The Key” on three separate occasions when three of the four people sitting across the aisle from me produced them. The conductor gave up using the device after the third failure. Travel for free, get “The Key”!

Week of 24 April 2017

Total lateness 12 minutes: Southeastern 0, Thameslink 12

  • Tuesday 25 April – Before leaving work today I had checked my journey on National Rail Enquiries and this advised me that the trains from Waterloo East may not achieve a connection with the 16.21 and 16.30 departures from Sevenoaks to Bat & Ball. Accordingly, I was expecting some problems with the Thameslink services from Sevenoaks. At Sevenoaks platform four was occupied by one of the new class 700 trains and the driver seemed to be experiencing problems with it and the platform information screens were not showing any departures due from platform four. The 16.21 service to Bat & Ball arrived in, and departed from, platform three and was on time.
  • Wednesday 26 April – It appeared that the 06.16 from Bat & Ball to Blackfriars and beyond was cancelled this morning because many of the people that travel on this service were waiting on platform two for a train to Sevenoaks. The 06.24 to Sevenoaks arrived there one minute late again today. The 06.31 to Waterloo East arrived on time.
  • Friday 28 April – I travelled to the Isle of Wight today; on time all the way from Bat & Ball to Portsmouth Harbour.

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