We rely on good train services into Central London to get us to and from work and around the capital. However, Southeastern Railways performance, both in terms of reliability and capacity have long been a problem along with issues on customer service which require urgent improvements.
The refranchising process is an important opportunity to see that the longstanding issues around reliability, capacity and customer service are finally tackled. The new contract will also provide working arrangements between the track and train companies which is so important for overall reliability. I have met with each of the potential bidders for the new rail contract and have underlined the importance of immediate improvements in order to ensure we can move away from a railway where delays and disruption are too commonplace and towards one where passengers feel happier with the service they receive. I will await the forthcoming decision by the Department for Transport on the successful bidder that is awarded the franchise which is expected later this year.
I will continue to meet with Southeastern, Network Rail and the Department for Transport to encourage and emphasise the urgent need of immediate improvements to the service and to ensure my constituents’ voice is heard. However, looking further into the future, it is clear that important decisions need to be taken in order to ensure that the next franchise really delivers upon the needs of Bexley passengers.