The Government's consultation on our local rail services is a golden opportunity to make the case for improved reliability, better value fares and fairer compensation for delayed passengers. Thank you to everyone who responded to my rail survey and those who attended my rail meeting. Your views were very helpful, and I have incorporated the common complaints and ideas into my response.
You can read my full letter about the consultation here. The key points are:
- Under the new operator, trains have to be more reliable. I have called for tougher penalties for poor performance.
- Compensation for delays of more than 15 minutes will be introduced from December 2018, but I want to go further. The new train company should have to provide compensation for total cumulative delays.
- Many people rely on the rural stops on the Ashford/Tonbridge line, especially Headcorn. I am clear that services from well-used rural stations should not be reduced.
- Too often commuters struggle to get seats even as far out as the Faversham and Mid Kent stations, so I want to see 10 coaches as a minimum on peak services.
- Many train stations are inaccessible for people travelling with young children or with mobility problems. Improving accessibility, such as the lifts at Faversham station, should be a key priority for the new operator.
- Changing patterns of work should be reflected in fare structures. Part-time season tickets should be available to allow flexible workers to use rail services.
|Helen Whately South East Rail Network Consultation Response.pdf||2.67 MB|