Plans to improve rail travel on the South Eastern franchise have been announced - but some current services could be cut.

The Department for Transport says more than 10,000 people responded to a consultation on the plans, which include the introduction of wifi to all services and the creation of a new refund system that provides money back after 15 minutes.

A new contract for an operator to run the network will be awarded next year.

Rail minister Paul Maynard said the next operator will be targeted with providing a 40,000-capacity increase through longer and more modern trains.

He said: "We are investing in the biggest railway modernisation for over a century. Today marks a major step forward in giving passengers better journeys across the south east and beyond.

"We’ve listened carefully to passengers and have introduced innovative new plans that see smoother, more comfortable journeys for passengers, with new, longer trains and more space.

"South Eastern will also – for the first time – be run by a joint team from the operator and Network Rail under a single director – responsible for day-to day performance and accountable to passengers."

The next operator must also introduce a new smart ticketing system, including a pay-as-you-go pilot, under the plans which will be implemented from 2022 and will facilitate the new Thameslink and Crossrail services.

The plans include cuts to current services provided by current operator Southeastern, including:

- On the Bexleyheath line services in future will run to London Bridge, Waterloo East, Charing Cross and Cannon Street - but no longer to Victoria.

- On the Hayes line, trains will no longer run to Cannon Street - calling instead at London Bridge, Waterloo East, Charing Cross and Victoria.

- North Kent services to Charing Cross via Lewisham will instead run to London Bridge and Cannon Street, to facilitate Thameslink.

- On the Sidcup line, services to Cannon Street will only run during peak times, with passengers needing Cannon Street having to change at London Bridge.

Meanwhile, a new half-hour service between Crayford and Victoria will run on the Sidcup line to meet increasing demand.

Passengers on the Bexleyheath line will have more trains going to London Bridge and Charing Cross, with space for an extra 10,000 passengers.

A spokesman for the DfT said: "South Eastern services carry 640,000 passenger journeys a day, and will soon need to integrate seamlessly with future Thameslink and Crossrail services to transform the way people travel across London and the south east."

DfT say a new Thameslink services linking Abbey Wood and Dartford to Blackfriars, Farringdon and St Pancras will be introduced in May next year.

The changes are subject to another consultation on detailed timetable proposals.