SRTA Response to 3 December Fare Changes

On 3 December South Eastern Trains introduced restrictions on use of off-peak fares from Sevenoaks and other stations that increase costs for many rail travellers. This was brought in “overnight” with minimal consultation and no public communication. The changes to fares must be suspended until DfT, the train operators and TfL are ready to deliver a system which includes benefits as well as costs for most users.

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Timetable changes from 11 December

There are significant changes to the timetable for services from Sevenoaks, Dunton Green and Otford from 11 December. The detailed timetables have been published at and Southeastern kindly gave us a briefing on the concepts behind the new timetable and the main features. We have looked at the timetable in detail and these are our main observations.

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Station Improvement funding for Bat & Ball and Sevenoaks

Govia Thameslink Rail have extended the timetable for suggestions on how to spend their fine for last years’ timetable meltdown. They are seeking views by 31 August.

Their team will be at our local stations in the next few days. They will be at:

  • Sevenoaks:   Tuesday 20th August, 4pm to 7pm, to ask how to spend  £30,000
  • Bat & Ball: Wednesday 21st August, 7 am to 11 am to ask how to
    spend  £80,000

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How would you spend £340,000 to improve our stations?

Govia Thamelink was fined £15 million for last year’s timetable meltdown. After work by MPs, local councils and rail traveller groups this has been allocated to stations, for projects to help passengers hit by the collapse in services.

For stations we cover on the Darenth Valley line £340,000 will be allocated to projects that help passengers directly.  Amounts at each station depend on how badly services were affected.

Please let us know what you think? Decisions will be taken end July, and GTR will give extra weight to passenger groups like ours.

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The next Southeastern Franchise: fewer peak hour trains to London and 50% cut in trains to Tunbridge Wells

Sevenoaks Rail Travellers Association are still working through the over 900 pages of small print of the Department for Transport’s specification for the new Southeastern franchise. Main points so far are:

  • A cut in peak hour fast commuter trains to London – from ten in 2013 to eight in 2022. That means more overcrowding.
  • A 50% cut in direct trains to and from Tunbridge Wells. Local commuters and school students could have to wait 30 minutes.
  • No more direct trains from Sevenoaks to Hastings.
  • No extension of the proven TfL Oyster/Contactless payment system to Sevenoaks.
  • No extra seats between Sevenoaks and London


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