‘Cramped and uncomfortable conditions’ set to ease on Southeastern services, with new carriages on Hayes, Bromley South and Grove Park lines

PUBLISHED: 12:44 18 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:36 19 September 2017

Jo Johnson has praised Southeastern's annoucement to add carriages to peak services

Jo Johnson has praised Southeastern's annoucement to add carriages to peak services

Matt Buck

Southeastern have started rolling out new carriages on services from today

The extension of train services running through Orpington stations has been hailed by the town’s MP.

Jo Johnson welcomed the introduction of 68 carriages across the Southeastern network, an announcement that came as the government prepares to tender a contract on who will take over the rail service next.

From November longer trains will call at Chelsfield, Knockholt, Orpington and Petts Wood during peak hours.

Trains along the Hayes, Bromley South and Grove Park lines will be lengthened from eight to ten carriages while some six-car trains will lengthen to eight.

Mr Johnson said: “This is good news for Orpington commuters who have had to put up with cramped and uncomfortable conditions for too long.

“Passenger comfort is one of the issues I highlighted in my response to the DfT’s consultation on the future of the service. Improving the length of trains will help to alleviate some of the problems commuters currently experience.

“I look forward to ministers and the next franchise operator – whichever company wins the bid – continuing to drive forward the other reforms that are required to reduce delays and disruption and improve the overall passenger experience.”

In December 2018, the franchise will change hands, with current holders Govia, which owns Southeastern, among the parties interested.

Bids are expected to start being accepted by the Department for Transport later this month.

Bob Neill, MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, said: “I am hopeful this decision will mean all of us can enjoy a more comfortable service when travelling by rail. Last week I met with one of the companies currently bidding to build the carriages for the future franchise, discussing the top priorities for residents in our area. This is something I hope to take up with all the companies similarly involved in the franchise process.

“Although today’s announcement is definitely a step in the right direction, I fully appreciate that it is a solution to only one part of a much broader problem, and I will of course continue to push for greater reliability, improved connections and better passenger facilities over the coming months.”

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