Have Southeastern and Thameslink given up?


chess-resign-flickr-jypsygen-4714916311-cc-by-nc-nd-licensedThe Chairman of the SRTA writes:

Earlier this month there was a debate in Parliament on whether South Eastern Railway should be stripped of its franchise after months of poor performance. Several MPs – of all persuasions – asked whether South Eastern is any longer able to fight its way out of the unenviable slot – shared with Govia Thamelink – of the company with the worst passenger rating in Britain.

The Sevenoaks Rail Travellers Association had hoped that by sticking with a company which knew all the complications of the system during the London Bridge rebuild would have minimised disruption – and for a while it looked as if that might be working. But events since Christmas have made us doubt the decision. Worse seems to be the relaxed attitude of the rail minister who seems to think our rail companies are meeting the terms of their franchise. If this is success, what does failure look like?

We are making  progress with our local managers – improving Sevenoaks station and getting Bat & Ball handed over to our Town Council. But on the key job of getting the trains run to time there is still a lot to do. In our view – and those of an increasing number of MPs – competition from TfL will be an important part of the answer.

Tony Clayton


Have Southeastern and Thameslink given up? — 4 Comments

  1. We’re still waiting for the second ticket machine on the Kippington side of Sevenoaks station ! Promised for Christmas 2015, this slipped to mid March but there’s still no sign of it. Not even a poster with an apology and a revised date…

    Southeastern can’t even be bothered to obey the law. 0845 customer service numbers were banned almost two years ago, but they’ve kept 0845 000 2222 running ever since, costing a whopping 50p per minute from most mobiles. They don’t even warn of the Service Charge, so they’re also breaking Ofcom regulations. Even their newly refurbished trains have notices with only the 0845 number – together with the old 01732 number that they ceased long ago !

    This overcharging has repeatedly been flagged up to Southeastern (e.g at their stakeholder meeting last October), but it didn’t even get minuted. It makes you wonder whether they also wave two fingers at safety regulations where such blatant non-compliance wouldn’t be so visible?

    People with disabilities get treated particularly badly. They are still told to call the rip-off 0845 number to get a Disabled Persons Railcard or to make a General Enquiry. As for finding out which stations have disabled access – forget it ! Amazingly, Southeastern’s website and map and their latest travel posters still don’t show that stations such as Blackfriars and Denmark Hill (for King’s College Hospital) have had £millions spent on providing step free access.

    With their dreadful record, Southeastern have obviously realised that they have little chance of keeping their franchise so they’ve just decided to spend as little money as possible until they’re booted out. As over 17,000 petitioners have noted, that happy day can’t come soon enough.

  2. Things are not getting better.
    Why are they allowed to keep shutting train stations over most weekends? And they appear to keep making the last train from London to Sevenoaks earlier and earlier on a Friday and Saturday night – why? People can’t afford to live in London, so why can’t they stick to late running train services?
    I pay for a season ticket, but am continuously disadvantaged, as I’m sure many others are too.
    Is there a petition Sevenoaks commuters can physically sign to actually get things changed?

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