Southeastern let down long-suffering commuters – again

Southeastern Must Do BetterI have been deluged by tweets over the past few hours by commuters furious with Southeastern trains for cancelling trains across their network, except HS1, even apparently dumping passengers at stations far from home.

To add insult to injury Southeastern are still forcing people to pay £ supplements to travel on HS1. I am demanding such charges be refunded by Southeastern.

Kent MPs were told by Southeastern at several presentations that they had now put in place proper contingency preparations for snow, and that lessons had been learnt from previous years, yet nothing really seems to have changed.

A blanket cancellation policy for what has initially been far short of blanket snowfall is pathetic.

It is a Friday night, the worst time for many commuters to be let down. Yet Southeastern haven’t even had to deal with train drivers not being able to get in from home, or get trains back in place for a next morning commute.

Where is Charles Horton? Will anyone listen to his explanations?



Filed under commuters, conservatives, fair's fare, mark reckless, medway, rochester and strood, southeastern

2 responses to “Southeastern let down long-suffering commuters – again

  1. mat wills

    Siir, as you are my MP please can you get to the bottom of what has happened with the trains. I dont understand the point of your post as you are telling us that the trains are delayed.
    I believe as you are our elected representative you need to listen to Charles Horton. Please report back
    Thanks in advance

  2. Response from Southeastern:

    Mark Reckless MP
    House of Commons
    SW1A 0AA

    21 January 2013

    Dear Mr. Reckless

    Re: Train services

    We’ve just had sight of your blog and I’m writing to clarify that Southeastern was allowing main line ticket holders to use High Speed services at no additional cost once the position with the severe weather became apparent from midday on Friday 18 January. If any of your constituents travelled home after this time and did pay the supplement, please ask them to contact me direct and I’ll arrange a refund. For passengers whose journeys home were delayed by 30 minutes or more compensation is payable and for those held on trains, there will be an additional good will gesture.

    Despite the weather, on that day, around 70% of our services ran on time which if one looks at the disruption to roads and airports, the picture is not quite as bad as painted.

    By way of explanation for the disruption to services, all those winter preparations within Southeastern’s direct control were in place and worked well. However, as you know, train operators are totally reliant on Network Rail to ensure the tracks and points are clear of snow and ice so we can operate trains. On the third rail power supply in the Southeast of England, it is also vital that the conductor rail is kept clear so trains can draw power. If this does not happen, or those measures are inadequate, then trains cannot run, those that can are subject to delay and you may wish to point this out to your constituents.

    We are very sorry to any of your constituents whose journeys have been disrupted, but you may recall MD Charles Horton telling the Press Association last year that despite the measures in place, if there was heavy snow and ice, we (the train operator) would always struggle to provide a good service.

    We work in partnership with Network Rail and we’re sure it did its best to ensure the infrastructure was fit for purpose so we could run our trains. However you may wish to contact Network Rail direct for further information.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Best wishes

    Public Affairs Manager
    Friars Bridge Court
    41-45 Blackfriars Road
    SE1 8PG

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