Monday, 14 December 2009

Southeastern Must Do Better

"Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst" is probably the phrase that best describes the attitude of local commuters regarding the introduction of the new Southeastern timetable, and the full launch of the commuter HS1 service from Rochester and Strood to St. Pancras.

So it came as a great disappointment to myself and my fellow commuters who arrived at Strood station this morning to catch the 07.42 high speed service to find it had been cancelled because of a missing train crew. To say I am furious is something of an understatement, particularly given the fact that it is going to cost passengers from Strood £106.52 a week for the privilege of being late for work as I was!

Southeastern have been allowed to increase their fares exponentially over the past few years in order to, as they say, meet the costs of introducing the new HS1 service, though they still can't get their story straight on this. If that is the case then I think the least we should expect from our investment is to have a service that runs on time and as stated. Let us hope that today's disruption is not a sign of what is to come.


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Jamie H said...

And what would you do to change the situation? (Given that the railways were privatised under a Conservative Government)

Would you increase regulation of rail franchises?

Paul said...

Is it a commuter service? The trains run all day.

I enjoy the high speed off peak service, been using it on Saturdays and often have a carriage to myself. I think it's brilliant to get to London in 32 minutes, in comfort.

I admit that commuting is tough when things go wrong but most of us don't commute.

Ed Torville said...

Yes, but Paul you admit yourself that you have a carriage all to yourself. Considering that it's largely been commuters who have faced above inflation price increases for the past few years and will continue to see fares rise above inflation until 2012 to pay for this, do you think it's right that they should have to pay so that SET get shiny new trains to play with that hardly anyone (as you admit) is using due to the increased cost of travelling on them. SET have right royally screwed this up. The new timetable is a complete nightmare due to the fact they are trying to squeeze in too many of the high speed trains at the expense of the Cannon St and Victoria services which are the lifeblood of commuters here in Medway. We can't simply change to the high speed service because the majority of us work in the City of London.

Deborah Walsh said...

Hi Mark

Ive been following your comments on here for some time and the first thing I'd like to say is thank you for campaign to get trains to stop at Rochester. This has made a real difference to me and my family. I can now leave the house 20 mins later in the mornign and last night I got home half an hour later than I used to do. Its really made a big differnece to me having trains stopping at Rochester instead of having to go to Chatham. My husband was shocked when I came home early. And I mean that in a good way LOL!!

I do understand the anger about the high speed service because the trains to Cannon St are definitely more crowded than ever. But I do think we need to be careful about throwing the baby out with the bath water (is that how you say it?). I think if they could lower the price on the high spped a little bit it could be a big success but their charging too much and cutting the Cannon St trains to fitin the high spped service which is running empty is a bit of a mistake. They should run mre trains to Cannon St and Victoria with only a few trains to St Pancras instead.

Anyway. Sorry Im writing a letter now and need to get to bed. But I just want to say thank you again Mark getting the trains to stop at Rochester that's brilliant for me and my family and really is appreciated. Thank you.