Keith’s Travel Diary April 2015

april-shower-rainbow-flickr-kotomi-jewelry-2449774631-cc-by-nc-licensedA step backwards for Southeastern – 204 minutes of delay for only 16 days of travelling!

Delay Repay Claims; total 1 January 2015 to 30 April 2015 inclusive = £22.07
(Southeastern = £ 14.65, Thameslink £7.42.) Two claims outstanding – one each against Southeastern and Thameslink.

Keith is a SRTA member and a regular commuter from Bat & Ball to London via Sevenoaks.

Week of 6 April 2015

Total lateness 1 minute: Southeastern 0, Thameslink 1

I only travelled on one day this week.

Week of 13 April 2015

Total lateness 122 minutes: Southeastern 95, Thameslink 27

  • Monday 13 April  – Not a good start to the week; overrunning engineering work and signal problems in the London Bridge area. The 07.23 from Sevenoaks to Cannon Street was diverted to Victoria. On arrival at Sevenoaks it was more crowded than usual; I waited for the 07.28 to Cannon Street. This train was also diverted to Victoria. However the staff did not know where the train was heading until it actually arrived at Sevenoaks. When the train arrived at Victoria I estimate there was in excess of a thousand people trying to access the Underground. These people were being held back to avoid a dangerous situation developing on the platforms. I eventually arrived at Cannon Street 70 minutes late. Most fast trains were diverted to either Blackfriars or Victoria this morning. Southeastern’s Website was not handling the demand this afternoon; I got no response from it. The National Rail Enquiries Website was working OK. To round off the day Thameslink cancelled the 18.00 departure from Sevenoaks to Bat & Ball this evening.
  • Tuesday 14 April – This evening the information screen was not working at Bat & Ball Station.
  • Wednesday 15 April – The information screen was still not working at Bat & Ball Station his morning. The 07.23 to Cannon Street was full and standing so I travelled on the 07.28. This was low density stock today; just got a seat. Whilst waiting for the 07.28 I observed a Southeastern employee helping a passenger in a wheelchair on to the 07.23 departure. It seemed strange that they were not helping the person to board the train where the designated wheelchair space is on the train. They left the person in the wheelchair in the space immediately inside of the doors. Perhaps there were too many bicycles cluttering up the designated space for wheelchairs on the train.
  • Thursday 16 April – The 07.28 was low density stock this morning, I had to stand.
  • Friday 17 April – Travelled on the 07.28 again this morning. The 17.24 from Cannon Street was low density stock this evening; the first class was declassified. Strangely the train was not that crowded!

Week of 20 April 2015

Total lateness 56 minutes: Southeastern 14, Thameslink 42

  • Monday 20 April- Uneventful day; 07.23 full again therefore it was the 07.28 for me this morning.
  • Tuesday 21 April – There was a panel hanging down from the roof of the 07.10 from Bat & Ball this morning in one of the coaches; at face height for most people. I advised the platform staff on arrival at Sevenoaks. I managed to get a seat on the 07.23 this morning. On arrival at Cannon Street there were people handing out £3.00 Costa Coffee payment cards as a gesture of goodwill following the chaos on Monday 13 April. It must have been a very narrow window when these cards were distributed. Colleagues arriving in London before 07.00 hours and after 10.00 hours did not receive one.
  • Wednesday 22 April – Both the 07.23 and 07.28 to Cannon Street were very crowded; I had to stand this morning. The 17.24 from Cannon Street was also crowded today.
  • Thursday 23 April – A repeat of yesterday. The information screen at Bat & Ball Station was not working today.
  • Friday 24 April – The information screen at Bat & Ball Station was not working again. The 07.10 to Sevenoaks was cancelled; a fellow passenger with a smart phone obtained this information and they thought that the next service at 07.40 was also cancelled. I travelled on the 07.12 to Blackfriars. This train was very crowded after Catford and it was difficult to detrain at Blackfriars. There were no Thameslink Delay Repay forms on display at Blackfriars this morning; fortunately I had one in my desk at work.

Week of 27 April 2015

Total lateness 25 minutes: Southeastern 16, Thameslink 9

  • Monday 27 April – The information screen at Bat & Ball is still not working. Both the 07.23 and 07.28 to Cannon Street from Sevenoaks were very crowded I had to stand this morning. The 17.24 from Cannon Street was very crowded this evening; not helped by the middle four coaches being low density stock. Bat & Ball’s information screen still not working this evening.
  • Tuesday 28 April – A repeat of Monday. I reported the faulty information screen at Bat & Ball Station to Southeastern this evening.
  • Wednesday 29 April – I managed to get a seat on the 07.23 this morning. The information screen at Bat & Ball was not working in the morning but it was when I returned home this evening.
  • Thursday 30 April – Both the 07.23 and 07.28 to Cannon Street from Sevenoaks were very crowded I had to stand this morning. The 07.28 had low density stock in the front four coaches; this did not help with the overcrowding!

Footnote: I discovered recently that the Department of Transport is paying Transport for London £25m to allow National Rail ticket holders whose journeys are disrupted by the works at London Bridge to use their services over a small part of their network. This basically means that all of us, the taxpayers, are footing the bill. Please make sure you get your monies worth!

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