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Join Abena’s Campaign to stop Southeastern Cuts

Abena’s Campaign

I believe rail timetables need to be reliable, well organised and best serve the commuters, constituents and public who use them.

On 28th September, Southeastern released their December timetable changes (see the changes here). These recently proposed changes have come with a lack of consultation, cooperation and engagement. It has been very disappointing to see these announcements made in this way.

Due to the pandemic, the Department for Transport agreed to continue to allow train operators  to implement demand-led timetables without consulting formally during this period. However, the Government has admitted that Southeastern is the only rail operator continuing to use this exemption.

I acknowledge that the pandemic has placed major challenges on train operators and timetables, however, I am still very concerned about the lack of consultation given to this new timetable that provides major alterations to the current system.

I am therefore supporting residents and commuters who are calling for Southeastern to reverse the proposed cuts in services.

See below for the many ways that constituents can express their views on the timetable and to get involved in the campaign.

How will the timetable impact you?

False promises from the Government

One year ago, the Government took over Southeastern Railway after they failed to declare more than £25 million of taxpayer funding.

The then Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, said the Operator of Last Resort would take over the railway to protect taxpayers’ interests. He said “we will not accept anything less from the private sector than a total commitment to their passengers and absolute transparency with taxpayer support.”

Shapps pledged to rebuild trust in this network”. Instead of rebuilding trust, they have given Southeastern permission to proceed with major timetable changes without consultation.

Since then, we’ve had two new Transport Secretaries and a government in chaos. The last Transport Secretary lasted for only just over a month.

Members of my constituency and I now hold serious concerns that these commitments will not been followed through and as a result passengers and residents have less trust in the railway than any time before.

Abena is fighting the cuts

  • The pandemic has placed major challenges on train operators and timetables, however, the lack of consultation has only made the goal of regaining trust in the railway more difficult.
  • It is my view that more thorough consideration was needed and these cuts should not have happened in this way.
  • I have secured a meeting with the new Rail Minister. I will be pressing him and Southeastern to reassess and carry out a full consultation with all those impacted.
  • Working with stakeholders and constituents, we will continue to fight for a reliable and well organised timetable that provides opportunities for all in Erith and Thamesmead and the South East.

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