29 NOV 2017

Greg Clark welcomes priorities for new South Eastern franchise

Following a consultation earlier in the year on the future of the South Eastern rail network, the Department for Transport has published the improvements which will be expected from the new franchise holder. Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark submitted his response to the Department's consultation in June, which was informed by the priorities of his constituents and input from his Rail Action Group of local commuters. Following the publication of the Department's report, Greg said:

"I was pleased to see that a number of key priorities from my response have made the Department for Transport's list of requirements for the next operator. This includes providing 40,000 more seats through longer trains and committing them to new standards of communications and customer service. The Department has listened to the concerns many people had about possible cuts to rural services, and has committed to protecting at the very least the existing service levels from stations such as Paddock Wood, Marden and Staplehurst. Passengers will also be able to benefit from improved compensation, with Delay Repay available after only 15 minutes, and Wi-Fi will be provided across the entire network. Smart ticketing will also be expanded, and I was delighted to see a commitment to introducing a carnet or other type of more flexible ticket for regular but not full-time commuters.

I very much welcome that the next operator will be held to a higher standard, and will expected to deliver a service that's more in line with what passengers deserve."

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