Lewisham MP Heidi Alexander calls Southeastern trains 'grim'

News Shopper: Heidi Alexander at Blackheath station Heidi Alexander at Blackheath station

A Lewisham MP has used a House of Commons debate to attack the state of Southeastern trains, calling them "grim".

Heidi Alexander secured a Commons debate on the company last night (May 6), calling for 12-car trains to serve stations suring the rush hour, highlightiong the cost of travel and questioning why the Platform Four gate at Lewisham station has been permanently closed.

She said: "The daily reality for many of the 37,000 people in Lewisham who use the trains to get to and from work every day is grim - hot, horrendously overcrowded, late and slow trains, with a hefty price tag to boot. I am not prone to exaggeration, but I honestly believe that in this country we transport cattle better than some of my constituents.

"Just last month, I was contacted by a constituent who told me that he had seen two people collapse in the last 10 days due to overcrowded and overheated trains."

She went on: "To add insult to injury, year on year we are paying more and more for the pleasure. An annual season ticket on Southeastern for zones 1 to 3, a point-to-point ticket that allows travel only from one station to another, now costs £976.

"It has gone up by £216 since 2010 - a 28 per cent increase in four years. Travelcards, which allow onward use of the tube and bus network, cost considerably more. The rising cost of those tickets has massively outstripped the negligible changes that people have seen in their pay packets and it makes a very significant dent in household budgets."

And Dartford MP Gareth Johnson joined in, asking: "Does she agree that although poor reliability may be Southeastern’s main failing, it is compounded by the poor communication with the commuters who are constituents of hers and mine?"

Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Transport Robert Goodwill MP declined to join Ms Alexander on a journey, but said a member of his staff who used Southeastern often complained about not getting a seat, and was happy to have moved further from London so she had a better chance.

An online petition to get the Platform Four gate re-opened has been started. Visit the website to sign it.

A Southeastern spokesman said: "We know that some trains in the London metro area are particularly busy during peak times and we have already strengthened our services to help address this. The steps we’ve taken include introducing more peak services and protecting those services to ensure we run the longest trains that we can during those times.

"Our plans to run 12-carriage trains on some routes are dependent on upgrades to equipment at stations and until that work is carried out we can’t safely run them. We do understand how important this issue is to our customers and we’re working with Network Rail to carry out the work to bring in these services as quickly as possible."

Comments (9)

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9:47am Wed 7 May 14

Toolbox69 says...

So what will be done about it? Nothing!
So what will be done about it? Nothing! Toolbox69
  • Score: 4

9:47am Wed 7 May 14

Virtual-Monster says...

With local elections this year and national elections next year, who would guess that the invisible, money grabbing, waste of space MPs would now start trying to raise their profiles?

Shame for the last few years this one amongst the majority of MPs has been invisible, just filling their pockets with our cash. If the train service is that bad (and lets be honest it is) why hasn't she been shouting about it at every opportunity?
With local elections this year and national elections next year, who would guess that the invisible, money grabbing, waste of space MPs would now start trying to raise their profiles? Shame for the last few years this one amongst the majority of MPs has been invisible, just filling their pockets with our cash. If the train service is that bad (and lets be honest it is) why hasn't she been shouting about it at every opportunity? Virtual-Monster
  • Score: 5

12:34pm Wed 7 May 14

white rabbit9 says...

Grim, so the grim reaper is happy then. slaves are treated as slaves so why are people who are (slaves) complaining?

SLAVE. A person who is wholly subject to the
will of another; one who has no freedom of action,
but whose person and services are wholly under
the control of another.

SO WHY ARE PEOPLE COMPLAINING! How many people are bending their will to a bank that is a private coorporation? that they are paying there DEATH GRIPS (mortgages) off.

Stop moaning slaves, you are what you are.
Grim, so the grim reaper is happy then. slaves are treated as slaves so why are people who are (slaves) complaining? SLAVE. A person who is wholly subject to the will of another; one who has no freedom of action, but whose person and services are wholly under the control of another. SO WHY ARE PEOPLE COMPLAINING! How many people are bending their will to a bank that is a private coorporation? that they are paying there DEATH GRIPS (mortgages) off. Stop moaning slaves, you are what you are. white rabbit9
  • Score: -55

12:36pm Wed 7 May 14

white rabbit9 says...

SLAVERY. The condition of a slave; that civil
relation in which one man has absolute power
over the life, fortune, and liberty of another.

Taken from 8th law dictionary. societies law.

Banks come to mind. Privately owned.
SLAVERY. The condition of a slave; that civil relation in which one man has absolute power over the life, fortune, and liberty of another. Taken from 8th law dictionary. societies law. Banks come to mind. Privately owned. white rabbit9
  • Score: -55

4:19pm Wed 7 May 14

chris8210 says...

Every morning at 7:16 ,my train is only 6 carriages long, the old platforms can take upto 8-10 carriages so surely they should be running all peek services 8-10 carriages
Every morning at 7:16 ,my train is only 6 carriages long, the old platforms can take upto 8-10 carriages so surely they should be running all peek services 8-10 carriages chris8210
  • Score: 2

5:20pm Wed 7 May 14

Wombles4000 says...

There's not enough stock for longer trains. The solution is to get some stock from southern which is receiving new trains. The govt have confirmed half an order, but the other half is not confirmed.

If they confirmed it, more trains be built go to southern, freeing up some of southerns to go to southeastern which can make many trains 10 or 12 carriages.

The question is why the Department for Transport are not confirming the other half of the order for Southern. MPs need to ask that and pressure for it.
There's not enough stock for longer trains. The solution is to get some stock from southern which is receiving new trains. The govt have confirmed half an order, but the other half is not confirmed. If they confirmed it, more trains be built go to southern, freeing up some of southerns to go to southeastern which can make many trains 10 or 12 carriages. The question is why the Department for Transport are not confirming the other half of the order for Southern. MPs need to ask that and pressure for it. Wombles4000
  • Score: 5

8:30am Thu 8 May 14

PaulErith says...

white rabbit9 wrote:
Grim, so the grim reaper is happy then. slaves are treated as slaves so why are people who are (slaves) complaining?

SLAVE. A person who is wholly subject to the
will of another; one who has no freedom of action,
but whose person and services are wholly under
the control of another.

SO WHY ARE PEOPLE COMPLAINING! How many people are bending their will to a bank that is a private coorporation? that they are paying there DEATH GRIPS (mortgages) off.

Stop moaning slaves, you are what you are.
If you expect people to listen to you, would you FINALLY answer some questions that have been put to you before. I assume you have a roof over your head and food on your table. You've clearly got an internet connection! All these things cost money - so where do you get your money from?
[quote][p][bold]white rabbit9[/bold] wrote: Grim, so the grim reaper is happy then. slaves are treated as slaves so why are people who are (slaves) complaining? SLAVE. A person who is wholly subject to the will of another; one who has no freedom of action, but whose person and services are wholly under the control of another. SO WHY ARE PEOPLE COMPLAINING! How many people are bending their will to a bank that is a private coorporation? that they are paying there DEATH GRIPS (mortgages) off. Stop moaning slaves, you are what you are.[/p][/quote]If you expect people to listen to you, would you FINALLY answer some questions that have been put to you before. I assume you have a roof over your head and food on your table. You've clearly got an internet connection! All these things cost money - so where do you get your money from? PaulErith
  • Score: 7

12:15pm Thu 8 May 14

PaulErith says...

white rabbit9 wrote:
Grim, so the grim reaper is happy then. slaves are treated as slaves so why are people who are (slaves) complaining?

SLAVE. A person who is wholly subject to the
will of another; one who has no freedom of action,
but whose person and services are wholly under
the control of another.

SO WHY ARE PEOPLE COMPLAINING! How many people are bending their will to a bank that is a private coorporation? that they are paying there DEATH GRIPS (mortgages) off.

Stop moaning slaves, you are what you are.
Your silence speaks volumes! So where does your money come from? I gather you're either
a) very rich and don't work (which would make you incredibly hypercritical),
b) work for a company (just as all those people do that you think you have the right to criticise)
c) choose to live on state handouts (paid for by all those people working for companies that choose to criticise).

Whichever one it is, you're hypercritical and have no right to criticise the way others live their lives!
[quote][p][bold]white rabbit9[/bold] wrote: Grim, so the grim reaper is happy then. slaves are treated as slaves so why are people who are (slaves) complaining? SLAVE. A person who is wholly subject to the will of another; one who has no freedom of action, but whose person and services are wholly under the control of another. SO WHY ARE PEOPLE COMPLAINING! How many people are bending their will to a bank that is a private coorporation? that they are paying there DEATH GRIPS (mortgages) off. Stop moaning slaves, you are what you are.[/p][/quote]Your silence speaks volumes! So where does your money come from? I gather you're either a) very rich and don't work (which would make you incredibly hypercritical), b) work for a company (just as all those people do that you think you have the right to criticise) c) choose to live on state handouts (paid for by all those people working for companies that choose to criticise). Whichever one it is, you're hypercritical and have no right to criticise the way others live their lives! PaulErith
  • Score: 7

4:55pm Thu 8 May 14

johnfirewall says...

Can't blame them for closing a gate you could get through without touching in/out.
Can't blame them for closing a gate you could get through without touching in/out. johnfirewall
  • Score: 0

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