This week I received a response from Steve White, Southeastern’s Managing Director to my letter dated 5th October. In this letter he states they are implementing the new timetable because passenger numbers are down compared to pre-pandemic numbers and it would reduce congestion and on the network. Although he did admit communication over the changes could have been better. Nevertheless, it is not acceptable that these changes were not subject to consultation.
I am also still yet to hear back from Steve White on when he is available to meet with me to discuss these changes, but I will be raising this with him when I do indeed meet with him. I will also put on the agenda my displeasure that Steve White pulled out of his scheduled appearance at Lewisham’s Public Transport Liaison Committee where local people would have had the opportunity to ask further questions on the planned to cuts to off-peak trains to Charing Cross.
The Department for Transport has, also responded to the 5th October letter. The Government must accept responsibly for not requiring Southeastern to engage with stakeholders and users. These are drastic changes, and they ought to be consulted on. Going forward I will be putting pressure on the Government to ensure that train companies consult local people on new timetables.
In the meantime, I will also chase Southeastern to pin them down for a date where I can directly relay your constituent’s concerns regarding these timetables.
Response from Southeastern:
Response from the Department for Transport: