One of the primary concerns during my election campaign was the unsatisfactory level of service provided by Southern Rail. I have made this an immediate priority since being elected.
Yesterday I met with the Rail Minister, Claire Perry, to raise the serious concerns which I share with my constituents, about the appalling performance of Southern Rail. These concerns include overcrowding, station skipping (such as at Coulsdon South) and the persistent lack of punctuality. The quality of the service has been totally unacceptable for some time now. I am hopeful that now a dialogue has been initiated we will see improvements start to appear.
I called on the Minister to personally hold weekly performance reviews with Southern Railway and Network Rail to drive improvements. I have also called for a review into the compensation scheme for commuters to make it much easier to access and to better reflect the reality of daily experience. It was noted by many commuters that trains were arriving one or two minutes before the threshold for the ‘delay repay’ compensation, which is clearly unfair.
I was promised a written response from Claire Perry, which she swiftly delivered. Click the link below to see the full letter. She will be hosting weekly meetings of a Task Force with officials from the Department for Transport, National Rail and the heads of other train operating companies to urgently fix these problems. As it says in the letter these meetings ‘will focus relentlessly on delivering the improvements that are recommended by the National Rail team and the operators.’
I will continue to put pressure on Southern Rail and the Rail Minister to ensure the rapid delivery of the improvements that are desperately needed.
See the full letter here: http://issuu.com/chrisphilpmp/docs/letter_from_claire_perry