Bromley and Chislehurst MP Bob Neill posts letter to parliamentary under-secretary of state for Transport about Southeastern
PUBLISHED: 13:35 11 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:35 11 August 2017
In the letter he calls for investment in the network and a decision for the joint proposal submitted by Southeastern and GTR in March
MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, Bob Neill, has posted a letter he’s written to MP Paul Maynard, the parliamentary under secretary of state for transport, calling for more rolling stock, investment in the network, and a passenger ombudsman for Southeastern railway.
In the letter Mr Neill addresses the fact that Mr Maynard failed to answer previous questions he’d raised about the Southeastern network.
He said: “Your last response unfortunately made little attempt to answer a number of the legitimate questions I had raised.
“Commuters are spending a considerable portion of their wages on fares, and in exchange they understandably expect a reliable, comfortable service from an operator. The reality is very different, and reflects poorly on us all.”
“You indicated (on March 28) that a decision on the joint proposal submitted by Southeastern and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) on March 24 could be made within five weeks. While I appreciate that we have had a general election, twenty weeks on parliamentatians, and more importantly, the residents we serve, have had no updates on the progress of this application.
“I would stress again that passengers cannot wait until the franchise renewal for this problem to be rectified.
“As you are aware, the South East has suffered from historic underinvestment in comparison to other less busy parts of the network.
“Around 25 per cent of rail journeys take place in the South East, yet the local network only receives something like 15 per cent of the national funding.
“I would suggest that the Statement of Funds for Control Period Six, covering the years 2019 to 2024, offers an opportunity to put right this disparity.
“A fair settlement is needed that acknowledges the valur of the rail in the south east, as well as the disproportionately high impact poor reliability can have on bothe passengers and the economy.
“Finally I would urge you to ensure that adequate steps have been taken to mitigate any problems resulting from the planned change to services to and from Charing Cross, Waterloo East and London Bridge between August 26 and September 2.”
A public consultation into the South Eastern franchise closed in May, and a decision is yet to be announced.