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MP: Take trains off Southeastern - and give them to someone who can do the job better

PUBLISHED: 11:13 28 July 2015 | UPDATED: 11:13 28 July 2015

Bob Neill

Bob Neill

Archant

Bob Neill says there is a different excuse for delays each season

COMMUTER trains in Bromley should be taken away from Southeastern and given to London Overground because they can do a better job, an MP says.

Bromley and Chislehurst MP Bob Neill says the trains at the moment are “substandard” – and has told rail minister Claire Perry he thinks Southeastern should be fined.

“Over the past year I have been delayed by ice in the winter, leaves in the autumn, strong winds in the spring and now warm weather in the summer,” Mr Neill said.

“I don’t believe these should be accepted as legitimate excuses from a franchise that is worth so much money.

“I have raised with Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport, the wholly unacceptable scenario in which some people now feel compelled to move away from south-east London on the basis of its unreliable commuter service.

“I have also asked rail minister Claire Perry whether now is the time to urgently consider financial penalties to ensure passenger satisfaction is front and centre in Southeastern’s list of priorities.”

Mr Neill, who commutes to London daily from Chislehurst, has been fighting for improvements to the trains since he was elected in 2006.

“Since Christmas I have attended a number of meetings with the senior management of both Southeastern and Network Rail,” he added.

“I continue to raise constituents’ concerns – as well as my own complaints –and have been bringing this problem to the attention of senior ministers at every available opportunity.

“I have expressed my desire for our commuter services to be taken over by London Overground, who I know from experience run a far more efficient operation with relatively few disruptions. This is something I will continue to push for.”

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