The Rail Minister, Claire Perry, has said that Southeastern trains could face a multi-million pound penalty if it fails to perform. In a letter to James Brokenshire, the Minister also pledged to work more closely with Transport for London.
Ms Perry underlined that Southeastern could face penalties of up to £4million if they fail to meet defined targets for stations, train services and customer service. These funds would subsequently be reinvested by the Department into improving performance and quality of service on the Southeastern network. Ms Perry said that she would sit down with local MPs to discuss Southeastern's performance in the New Year.
The Rail Minister also outlined plans to publish a prospectus, detailing how the Department for Transport can work better with Transport for London, including the prospect of ‘transferring some further suburban services to TfL if there is general support for this’.
Commenting upon receipt of the letter, James said:
"In a week where passengers have suffered significant disruption, I welcome the Minister's commitment to work to improve local rail services. It is absolutely right that if Southeastern fail to meet the targets set they should be hit with a significant financial penalty."
“In addition, the news that the Department is planning to engage more directly with Transport for London with a view to potentially bringing more suburban services, including the Southeastern network, under TfL control is positive. I have long campaigned for this change and will be doing everything I can to secure more reliable services for passengers both up to and after the current franchise’s expiry in 2018.”
You can read the Rail Minister's full response below: