There is a “Meet The Managers” event at Sevenoaks station on the evening of this coming Tuesday, 23 February, between 1700 and 1900. We’re told that senior managers from Southeastern and Network Rail will be there to answer your questions and discuss current issues. They are likely to be on the “town” side of the station opposite the ticket office.
There’s a lot to discuss!
- Southeastern have come joint bottom – with Thameslink – of this year’s Which? rail passenger satisfaction survey. While they claim to be making some improvements in cleaning trains and stations you may want to ask what they are really doing about key drivers of dissatisfaction such as poor information, poor reliability and punctuality, overcrowding, toilets at stations and on trains out of order, and so on.
- Southeastern’s punctuality has dropped dramatically in recent months and a very bad start to the New Year – and it cannot be blamed on London Bridge. That’s despite increasing numbers of reports of “station skipping” to get trains back on time at the expense of passenger inconvenience (recently a Sevenoaks to Cannon Street train “started” at New Cross!). There are also increasing reports of delays due to waiting to train crew.
- Southeastern have been pointing the finger at track and signalling problems. The direct responsibility for these rests with Network Rail, so you may want to ask them what is going on. But Southeastern pay 48% of your fares to Network Rail, so you may also want to ask Southeastern what they are doing to make sure that Network Rail do their job.
- Services on Friday 12 February were seriously disrupted by “ice”. It’s not clear what really happened. This is a chance to ask. (We’re trying to use the Freedom of Information Act to find out too.)
- There was a worrying recent incident about a pregnant woman being forced to stand when there were 1st class seats free. Actually, Southeastern have a package of help, but they do not make it easy to find or apply for.
- There have been a lot of problems with train heating this winter: some trains too hot, others too cold. Southeastern seem to think that the complaints balance out. But we think that there’s a growing maintenance problem.
- There are still reports of short trains because of the Dover Sea Wall problems. If this has affected you please make your views known.
It’s important that Southeastern and Network Rail managers hear about issues directly from Sevenoaks passengers. So please spare a few minutes to give them your views! – and please let us know what they say!!