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Tom Tugendhat expresses concern over Southeastern timetable changes which will see passengers 'spending an extra week a year on the train'

Commuters heading into work today are being warned to check their timetables.

It comes as more than four million services across Britain are being rescheduled following billions of pounds of investment in the rail network.

Southeastern services have been altered as new Thameslink routes between Luton and the Medway towns are introduced following the rebuild of London bridge station.

Stock picture of a Southeastern Train. Stock picture of a South Eastern Train. Picture: Matthew Walker (2054871)
Stock picture of a Southeastern Train. Stock picture of a South Eastern Train. Picture: Matthew Walker (2054871)

But Kent MP Tom Tugendhat admits he is "deeply concerned" by changes to Southeastern's timetable, which he claims will mean some passengers in the county have to spend an extra week a year on trains.

Mr Tugendhat, who represents Tonbridge and Malling, met with the firm's managing director David Statham after it emerged a direct train service to London Victoria on the Maidstone East line is to be scrapped each weekday morning from yesterday, when the new timetable came into force.

Before, passengers who wanted to arrive at Victoria between 8am and 9am from stations such as Lenham, Barming, and East Malling as well as Maidstone East could take three direct trains arriving at 8.23am, 8.37am, and 8.50am.

Under the changes, this will be reduced to just two direct services during the morning peak, with another train arriving at Victoria at 8.09am, though passengers on this route would have previously had to change at Bromley South.

Furthermore, the return journey during the evening rush is being brought forward by 11 minutes, which is expected to impact a number of commuters in the west of the county.

Mr Tugendhat said: “I am deeply concerned about the consequences of the change in timetable on the many people who rely on the rail service every day.

"On some lines every train has changed time, and some people will spend an extra week a year on the train.

Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat
Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat

“David has promised to update me on his assessment three weeks into the new timetable. They can look at making some small changes then, while I’ve also asked for greater transparency on longer term timetable changes.

"The new timetable does not enhance the service on any part of the local network.”

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