Following on from the atrocious winter of 2013/4, which saw major landslips close huge parts of the line, Southeastern announced this week that it plans to publish Public Performance Measures for the line every four weeks.
This means all late running trains will be highlighted, allowing for much easier compensation claims.
Hastings MP Amber Rudd said: “I have long been campaigning with the East Sussex Rail Alliance and SHRIMP to encourage Southeastern to inform the public about how each individual line has performed. This is particularly important for the Hastings to London line following last winter’s atrocious failures on the rail line, commuters will appreciate this improvement in transparency and the additional clarity on train punctuality.”
All the performances of Southeastern routes will be reported line by line and measured. The performance results will be posted at Hastings, London Bridge, London Cannon Street, London Charing Cross, London Waterloo East, Orpington, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells stations as well as the Southeastern trains website at southeasternrailway.co.uk.
Ray Chapman, co-founder of East Sussex Rail Alliance, said: “At last we are to have a proper understanding of train punctuality for each individual route. Along with Amber Rudd, our passenger user groups presented the strongest possible case to an emergency investigation by Parliament’s Transport Committee, to change the method of telling the public how each line performed – but on the Hastings line how badly. It has been very hard to get real figures until now, and the Department of Transport supports this change. This is a most welcome improvement and a victory for common sense.”
Passengers will also be entitled to delay-repay based on the individual performance of the train they are on.
Mr Chapman added: “If this is an essential part of the management shake-up of the extended Southeastern franchise to 2018, this is very encouraging. Life for travellers on the Hastings line will not be easy until track and signalling improvements have been made and completed with the finish of work at the rebuilt London Bridge station and the approaches at Borough and on to Charing Cross and Cannon street stations. This is a massive task and operational delays and interruptions will be inevitable from time to time.”
A spokesman for Southeastern said: “We are committed to openness and transparency and are pleased to do this for our passengers.”