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David Evennett slams rail operator Southeastern at service summit

PUBLISHED: 17:13 10 September 2015 | UPDATED: 17:13 10 September 2015

David Evenett pictured with Claire Perry

David Evenett pictured with Claire Perry

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The Tory MP said he would 'make representations' about the company when the franchise was put up for tender

Conservative MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford David Evennett slammed train operator Southeastern at a meeting called by the rail minister Claire Perry.

The summit was attended by MPs as well as Network Rail, Southeastern and rail user group Passenger Focus at London Bridge this morning.

During the meeting, Mr Evennett voiced concerns over Southeastern’s rail service, stating there were serious issues the operator needed to address.

He said: “My constituents do not believe rail services have improved with particular problems on peak time trains. Southeastern not are listening to the genuine concerns being expressed by their customers about quality and punctuality.

“I will continue to hold them to account for their failures, and I shall be making strong representations when the new franchise is put out to tender.”

Mr Evennett raised complaints on behalf of his constituents on issues such as overcrowding, delays and customer satisfaction as well as challenging several statistics presented about the company’s performance.

Last year, Southeastern was ranked joint-bottom as the worst train company in Britain in a survey by consumer group Which. The company blamed the result on its customers in comments made to the Metro, saying it took “people somewhere they don’t want to be with money they don’t want to pay.”

The summit also gave MPs the chance to hear proposals for the Christmas timetable. The timetable could see a substantial reduction in services offered due to the London Bridge redevelopment.

Labour MP for Erith and Thamesmead Theresa Pearce continued the criticism of rail services for those in the south east, saying “The improvement works at London Bridge have caused disruption to many commuters across the South East through overcrowding, cancellations and delays.

“I am regularly contacted by constituents who have concerns with Southeastern rail services”

A positive from the summit came when the labour MP said “I am happy that the Minister has agreed to have a further meeting with MPs from South East London to look closer at the problems our constituents are experiencing.”

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