Southeastern responds to snow criticism

News Shopper: Snowy weather has decimated Southeastern's services in recent weeks Snowy weather has decimated Southeastern's services in recent weeks

SOUTHEASTERN’S managing director has responded to stinging criticism over the rail company’s services during recent snowy weather.

The company was lambasted earlier this month, with some calling for it to be stripped of its franchise, after snowfall decimated its services and frustrated commuters were given little or no information on whether their trains would be running.

Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group Caroline Pidgeon wrote to the company to complain - as she had done back in January when the story was much the same.

In a written response from Southeastern managing director Charles Horton, he said: “During this period there were shortcomings in information despite our efforts to keep passengers updated.

“I am disappointed about this and I fully understand the frustrations expressed by customers about this issue.”

Mr Horton said one of the main causes was heavier than expected snowfall overnight on November 30.

He claimed that a contingency timetable then needed to be put in place at short notice, staff needed to manually re-plan the services.

Mr Horton said: “This is a huge task and when done in this way the ability to feed information into the national systems which provide train information on the internet and station departure boards is lost.”

The managing director blamed problems providing information to passengers in the following days on IT problems with Network Rail’s database.

He insisted that improvements had been made this year, including upgrades to the company’s website and Network Rail-installed conductor rail heating to cut down on cold spots on the network.

But he said: “Despite these improvements the third rail network is still vulnerable to significant disruption while there is heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures.

“It will require further very significant further investment in the infrastructure to ensure that the network is better able to cope.”

The third rail system runs in south London, and is particularly susceptible to freezing when wintry weather strikes.

Comments (4)

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4:55pm Mon 20 Dec 10

porkpie says...

Are you still going to put up the price of a ticket ? Why are most Cannon Street trains late ? Can you not use diesel engines to pull passenger carriages ? How can a train be 5 minute late ( so two stations away) then completely vanish ? Charles Horton come and travel with me for 1 week. Both to and from my work and see how it goes.
Are you still going to put up the price of a ticket ? Why are most Cannon Street trains late ? Can you not use diesel engines to pull passenger carriages ? How can a train be 5 minute late ( so two stations away) then completely vanish ? Charles Horton come and travel with me for 1 week. Both to and from my work and see how it goes. porkpie
  • Score: 0

6:33pm Mon 20 Dec 10

Oldchap says...

Last week checked SE web site, train (7.06 Petts Wood to Charing Cross) showed on time.
Fortunately was watching breakfast TV & at 6.30 they showed Orpington - NO TRAINS!
I found an alternative way to work, but later talking to someone who gets the same train said it showed "On Time" up to about 7.10 - then disappeared to be replace by the 7.25, also "On Time".
As the (7.05) starts at Orpington would it be too much to ask that we could be kept informed?
Also, I believe the problem was at Orpington, so why run trains from Petts Wood only to get stuck outside Orpington? Why not turn them round at Petts Wood - that way a lot of people could actually get to work.
Or is that too simple?
Last week checked SE web site, train (7.06 Petts Wood to Charing Cross) showed on time. Fortunately was watching breakfast TV & at 6.30 they showed Orpington - NO TRAINS! I found an alternative way to work, but later talking to someone who gets the same train said it showed "On Time" up to about 7.10 - then disappeared to be replace by the 7.25, also "On Time". As the (7.05) starts at Orpington would it be too much to ask that we could be kept informed? Also, I believe the problem was at Orpington, so why run trains from Petts Wood only to get stuck outside Orpington? Why not turn them round at Petts Wood - that way a lot of people could actually get to work. Or is that too simple? Oldchap
  • Score: 0

8:48am Tue 21 Dec 10

DirtyElegance says...

Today, attempted to get 5.24 from Elmers End into London. At this hour, alternative routes are not an option.
Train showed as on time until 5:20, then went to "delayed" status. Despite 2 trains going in the opposit direction.
At 5:40 this train totally disappears off the board, only to show the 5.54am as the next train, which was also late.
Due to the low volume of passangers, complaints fall on death ears!!
Word is "mass-push", this also reminds me of SouthEastern rail.
Today, attempted to get 5.24 from Elmers End into London. At this hour, alternative routes are not an option. Train showed as on time until 5:20, then went to "delayed" status. Despite 2 trains going in the opposit direction. At 5:40 this train totally disappears off the board, only to show the 5.54am as the next train, which was also late. Due to the low volume of passangers, complaints fall on death ears!! Word is "mass-push", this also reminds me of SouthEastern rail. DirtyElegance
  • Score: 0

1:09pm Tue 21 Dec 10

Make Life says...

ive had no problems that make me think that Southeastern are rubbish. Yeah, the trains have been delayed coming into the station but its only been by a few minutes. Cheer up everyone, its Christmas!!!
ive had no problems that make me think that Southeastern are rubbish. Yeah, the trains have been delayed coming into the station but its only been by a few minutes. Cheer up everyone, its Christmas!!! Make Life
  • Score: 0

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