It’s not just commuters to London who are suffering!

canterbury-west-tracks-geograph-534388Fiona Gray is an SRTA member who commutes from Sevenoaks to Canterbury. She writes:

All the focus of the discussion of the new timetable is on London-bound commuters. It has disregarded the many other rail travellers who commute daily across the network. Trains that go to London come to and from the rest of the network.  So if you have delays going to and out of London, what do you think the rest of us are experiencing?!

London commuters should consider themselves at an advantage. All literature and staff focus prior to the new timetable focussed on London bound commuters, informing travellers of timetable changes. giving ample time in which to make alternative arrangements of which there are many, many options including bus, DLR and underground to enable arrival at work within a reasonable amount of time.

But it’s not like that for those of us travelling in the other direction:

  • Where was the literature for those of us who have to commute across the remainder of the network?
  • What alternative opportunities do we have should there be a problem in getting to work on time because of non/late running trains? For us it is the train to our specific destination or nothing.
  • Which group of travellers do you think are affected the most when a train London bound morning or evening is running late? It’s us that are turfed off trains, very often with less than a minute’s notice, because it has been decided that now the train is running late it will not be stopping at various stations, including Sevenoaks – all so the train can be in London to bring London workers home on time?
  • Having to wait at Charing Cross or Cannon Street is bad enough – but at a country station you end up cold and miserable sitting hoping that there will be a train to get you home, with no one really knowing what is happening, with platform staff with limited information and communication skills and who probably feel just as devalued compared to their London colleagues as we do.

We Kent commuters spend just as much money on our season tickets as London commuters. Where’s our voice? How much notice are Southeastern taking of us?

If you are a commuter to Kent – to Maidstone, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Ashford or elsewhere – or even from London to Sevenoaks! – we would like to hear your views too. Please use the comment box below.


It’s not just commuters to London who are suffering! — 2 Comments

  1. Since they brought out the new time table, services have been halved. I used to be able to take the a choice of 2 trains an hour to Tonbridge from Canterbury. But with the new “improved” time table, there is now only one, which due to timing, means I have to leave 25 minutes earlier than I used to, and then sit at college waiting for class to begin.

    Trains used to divide at Ashford, with part going via Canterbury and some via Dover. It seems that they have stopped doing this. To rub it in, the services still divide, except the rear 4 coaches terminate at Ashford and are driven off to the depot…

    To make it even worse, warm heated waiting rooms are few and far between, meaning that the longer wait is spent on a very cold metal bench, outside in the cold.

    The fares go up, the services have been halved. Southeastern do not serve their customers, they abuse them.


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