CHRIS PHILP, the MP for Croydon South, is promising commuters that he will continue to pressure the train operators to deliver an adequate service on lines into London
This morning I spoke in a Westminster Hall debate about the appalling performance of Southern Railway. The service has been totally unacceptable. Particular issues are lateness, cancellations, station skipping and short trains leading to overcrowding. Rails users in Purley, Sanderstead, Coulsdon and elsewhere are being short-changed.
Train punctuality is down to 82per cent on Southern, the worst in the UK and compares terribly to the 95 per cent on London Overground. Some 5 per cent of trains are cancelled or are seriously late. Southern’s targets for improvement are currently too low.
Which? Magazine found that Southern has the worst customer satisfaction of any UK rail line for punctuality. Transport Focus found satisfaction at just 60 per cent for commuters, the lowest in the UK and a fraction of the 94 per cent enjoyed by the Heathrow Express and East Coast Mainline.
Southern Railway users subsidise other parts of the rail network, yet get the worst service.
I called on the Rail Minister to:
- Continue to chair personally weekly task force meetings until the problems are fixed
- Improve the Delay Repay compensation system so that it is payable after 15 minutes’ delay, not 30 minutes, and so that repayments are automated. Only 12 per cent of eligible people currently claim under the scheme
- Fine the operators for station skipping
- Look again at whether Southern deserve to keep the franchise if there are not improvements
I will continue to keep the pressure up on Southern and the Rail Minister.
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