Louie French has expressed his frustration over the levels of service experienced during the first weeks of Southeastern’s new timetable changes, which has coincided with significant disruption from industrial action, infrastructure faults and the snow.
All of these factors have negatively impacted the levels of service for passengers in the Bexley area, with cancellations, delays and overcrowding being experienced in recent weeks.
Louie has stated how this is a “kick in the teeth” for passengers as Southeastern have consistently stated the benefit of the new timetable is improved reliability and less cancellations, which taking aside the negative impact of union strike days, hasn’t been the reality for Bexley commuters.
One of the most concerning causes of disruption has been the failure of electricity supply at Albany Park Station. This failure not only leads to concerns over the disruption caused to services and the impact on safety due to darkness, but also on passenger number figures as many passengers have been unable to tap in or out of Albany Park Station. Louie is therefore making urgent representations with Southeastern to resolve this issue and seek assurance that this will be taken into consideration for the passenger numbers using Albany Park Station when drawing up the next timetable.
Louie and his small office team continue to monitor and document every disruption on the Bexleyheath and Sidcup line, to highlight with Southeastern how the new timetable does not deliver for Bexley residents and therefore requires urgent reversals and concessions.
Louie is also very frustrated that the ongoing union strikes on Southeastern are making reversals to the timetable more difficult to argue for because of the reduction in passengers numbers, further loss of revenues/cost to taxpayers and the inaccurate reflection of passenger flows due to the disruption.
Commenting, Louie said:
“Given Southeastern stated that the main benefit of the new timetable was to improve reliability and punctuality, the significant disruption in the first few weeks of the new timetable is a real kick in the teeth for local commuters and I recognise the significant impact this has had on passengers on both the Bexleyheath and Sidcup line.”
“Amongst the significant disruption to other stations, I am particularly concerned for the impact on Albany Park Station passengers who have seen a near 50% reduction in services which often results in long waits when a service is cancelled.”
“Frustratingly, the industrial strikes on Southeastern are making changes to the May timetable more difficult to argue for due to the significant reduction in services that have been running and subsequent reduction in passenger numbers failing to provide an accurate reflection of passenger flows and potential overcrowding to inform any future changes. However, I am continuing to highlight the issues with the timetable and reliability of services, which has been poor so far.”