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Consultation launched so public can 'shape the future' of the Southeastern franchise

PUBLISHED: 13:08 31 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:27 31 March 2017

South Eastern trains at Orpington station

South Eastern trains at Orpington station

Matt Buck

Orpington MP Jo Johnson is enouraging residents who use the service to have their say

Orpington MP, Jo Johnson, is encouraging local residents to contribute their views to the public consultation “shaping the future of the Southeastern franchise”.

The current franchise, which is held by Southeastern, expires in December 2018 and the Department for Transport (DfT) need to find the next operator for the service.

As a result, a consultation has been launched, seeking the views of passengers on how the service currently operates as well as welcoming thoughts on how to improve it for the coming years.

The DfT, which sets the specification of services for franchise holders, has set out a range of future options with the aim of building a service that is fit for one of the busiest stretches of railway in Europe.

The priorities include providing more space for passengers, reducing delays and disruption, introducing smarter payment systems and improving customer service and compensation arrangements.

Formal responses to the consultation can be submitted online, in writing or via email, and must be received before the closing date of May 23.

Mr Johnson said: “I have continuously pressed the current franchise holder, Southeastern, for improved services for Orpington residents, particularly for those hard-working commuters who rely on the network every day.

“I know from my own postbag that, for a number of reasons, services have not always been up to the standard that passengers expect and deserve, and I share much of the frustration that residents feel.

“I will be submitting my own response to the consultation in due course, but I also encourage every other rail user in Orpington to take this opportunity to have their say in shaping the future of the Southeastern franchise.”

Further information about the consultation, including the full consultation document and details of how to submit your contribution, is available from gov.uk/government/news/south-eastern-franchise-consultation-launched

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