James Brokenshire has called on Southeastern users to contribute their views to the Department for Transport’s current consultation on the rail franchise serving Old Bexley & Sidcup. The contract of the current operator, Southeastern, expires at the end of next year and work is already underway to determine the nature of the future franchise.
Rail users across South East England are being consulted on their priorities for the next franchise agreement from today until 23 May 2017. The Department for Transport has already announced that it will seek to include its new Delay-Repay 15 compensation scheme, where passengers delayed by 15 minutes or more are compensated, into the new agreement, along with proposals to introduce smart ticketing and automatic compensation systems. However, the consultation will allow the general public to add their own ideas to improve the service into the process.
James has already made representations to the Department for Transport on a number of key issues, including the need for improved compensation, incentives to encourage greater collaborative working between Network Rail and the Train Operating Company, improved choice for passengers, including the possible addition of routes from Sidcup into Blackfriars and the need for additional rolling stock and the prerequisite stabling infrastructure.
Commenting upon publication of the consultation document, James said:
“I am left in no doubt as to the need for urgent improvements on the Southeastern network and continue to meet with Network Rail, Southeastern and the Department in order to encourage immediate improvements to the way the train and infrastructure operators work together. 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 Southeastern passengers.”
“I would urge all of those who use Southeastern trains to make clear and reasoned contributions to the consultation and shall be underlining the representations that I have already made to the Transport Secretary and Rail Minister as part of the consultation process.”
You can contribute to the Southeastern franchise consultation here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/south-eastern-franchise-consultation-launched