Southeastern’s response to the capacity issues caused by the Thameslink work at London Bridge is rather overdue, by about six months. The Revolt recognises this is a complex issue as it required timetable changes and changes to train lengths and type of rolling stock used. Why much if not all of this could not be done in advance of the London Bridge work remains a mystery. Increases to capacity on some services will lead to reductions elsewhere either through shorter trains or different rolling stock being used. These changes will probably be of little comfort to those paying passengers who have endured the recent service.
The Revolt is still astonished that Southeastern did not anticipate increased demand on the London Bridge services and hailing this as a positive response to customer consultation is a red herring. It is surely better described as a response to poor and complacent management and a lack of planning in the run up to the London Bridge works. Once again, we wonder at how long Southeastern knew about this and how little they seem to have done in preparation. Southeastern admit that capacity increases are confined by rolling stock but the Revolt would argue that there was plenty of time to invest in more (let’s face it, capacity at peak time was an issue before the works started). Did they ever consider timetable changes beforehand to ease congestion?
Whilst on this Southeastern Failway subject (okay, rant…), it is bizarre that on a Charing X service, on lines not stopping at London Bridge the excuse of congestion at London Bridge is still used for delays. Why? Those lines are non-stopping?! Equally irritating is sitting at Lewisham on the way home and being told that we are ahead of schedule (yes, a first for SE) as the timetable has not been amended to factor in the non-stopping at London Bridge. The cynic in this Radical wonders if this will help the stats of trains running ‘on time’. But it shows a gross failure on SE part to properly plan. Having recently renewed season tickets we Radicals are particularly peeved.
As management now seem to be at least partly reliant on customer ‘consultation’ to tell them how to run a train service, will this mean fewer bonuses for them? Hell, maybe they will listen to suggestions on improving customer service too…