In the debate Clive told MPs how fed-up commuters were constantly bombarding him with complaints and angry messages about the local train services.
One exasperated passenger told Clive that he had been commuting for over 40 years and had never complained until now. “The services is the worst it has ever been.” he said.
Clive also gave his own examples of trains getting diverted to other lines en route, as harassed platform staff were unable to give passengers useful advice.
New performance figures show that Southeastern is now one of the worst rail franchises in the country, and since Christmas their service has deteriorated to the point where long-suffering customers are up in arms.
Clive told MPs how he recently witnessed passengers on a Bexleyheath line service blocking the doors in protest after they had just been told by the driver that the train was diverting at Lewisham to the Sidcup line. They were at the end of their tether and just wanted to express their frustration.
Figures for punctuality and reliability, for the number of trains arriving on time and the number of cancellations or diversions are all significantly worse now for Southeastern than they were a year ago.
Last week Which? published its annual passenger satisfaction survey for train operators and Southeastern was placed joint last in the satisfaction table with an overall customer satisfaction score of only 46%.
Clive also called for a new system to compensate passengers when their trains are cancelled or delayed. The current Delay Repay scheme operated by Southeastern is difficult to use and many passengers are unaware of the scheme.
Passengers have every right to expect the reliable service they pay for. The cost of an annual season ticket from Eltham to central London has risen by a whopping £328 a year, or 33 percent, since 2010. The situation in south-east London is unacceptable and the government must act now.
It now seems that there is a real prospect of TfL taking over the franchise for Southeastern’s Metro lines between Dartford and London when the current franchise ends in 2018. Clive says “The Government must not wait that long and must award the franchise to TfL sooner if Southeastern do not improve their service immediately.”
To see that full transcript of the debate click here.
If you have experienced delays or cancellations you may be entitled to compensation – click here to find out more: https://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/contact-us/delay-repay/ and please let Clive know.