Dartford MP Gareth Johnson took part in a debate in the House of Commons yesterday (2nd March 2016) which had been called to discuss the reliability of Southeastern train services.
Gareth used the debate as an opportunity to highlight the recent poor performance of Southeastern and indicated that it appeared that Southeastern had “all but given up on getting its franchise renewed”.
During the debate, Gareth asked the Rail Minister, Claire Perry MP to consider the way in which the ‘delay repay’ scheme operates. He said “the ‘delay repay’ scheme should kick in far earlier than… 30 minutes…compensation for passengers who are delayed should commence after 15 minutes.”
In response the Rail Minister said: “It is a manifesto commitment of my Government, reiterated by the Chancellor, to introduce in a relatively short time—I certainly want to do it this year—a compensation commitment on which the clock starts ticking at 15 minutes.”
After the debate, Gareth said: “Southeastern’s performance this year has so far been particularly poor. Their trains are consistently late, are cancelled or miss stops. It is not good enough. There has to be a fairer compensation system for passengers when delays occur. A fifteen-minute delay is still significant and so compensation should begin at that point rather than the current thirty minutes. We should not allow for trains to be delayed for say twenty five minutes without there being any consequence for Southeastern. I am pleased that the Rail Minister confirmed this may well happen soon.”