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Commuters in Bearsted want talks with Southeastern bosses over late-running trains

By Anna Young

Commuters are demanding showdown talks with train bosses after claiming every service they have used this year has failed to arrive on time.

Passengers using Bearsted railway station, in Ware Street, have been logging the performance of Southeastern to build up evidence showing their plight.

They found a few services arrived only a minute late, but others have pulled into London Victoria up to 21 minutes behind schedule.

Numerous delays have also been recorded on the journey home, with one pulling up at 7.34pm, instead of 7.11pm.

According to passengers, the company failed to give reasons for delays in the majority of cases but has blamed signalling problems and slow trains in front.

It has affected people getting on the line at Holllingbourne, Harrietsham, Lenham, Borough Green, Wrotham and West Malling.

Katie Harris, of Thurnham Lane, Bearsted, said: “The cost goes up every year but the service gets worse. Why should we pay more when Southeastern is failing to provide a service which reflects the price?”

Southeastern train. Stock image.

Miss Harris is one of eight people who has been monitoring the situation, but has been unable to speak directly to anyone from the company.

The 39-year-old, who pays £4,144 for an annual season ticket, said: “There’s a customer feedback form online but it means we can’t include the data. All we want is for someone from Southeastern to meet us, look at the evidence and address the issues.”

Miss Harris contacted an operations manager on his direct email, but says her messages are now instantly returned.

Other gripes raised by the group include an alleged lack of toilet facilities and poor cleanliness on the carriageways.

A Southeastern spokesman said 89.1% of all services through Bearsted, not just those logged, arrived on time between January and August, but added the firm would be happy to meet the group.

He added: “We’re constantly working to improve performance of our services and we welcome all feedback from passengers.”

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