Get our trains on track and you’ll win my vote
There is no standout candidate in the upcoming General election. however, if someone was to embrace the plight of the common people and pledge an end to our deplorable train service, they’d get my vote. Considering that the train lines are the lifeblood feeding the economic heart of the country, it’s important to ensure tax-paying, hard-working commuters are getting to work on time without stress. Too often this isn’t happening. It appears that Southeastern is not up to the task (management that is, not front-line workers). Firstly, there’s overcrowding. recently, on a trip from Chatham to Stratford, I counted 31 people standing in my carriage, including myself and a couple who were seated side-by-side on the floor, blocking the door. By ebbsfleet I gave up trying to count; the aisle was packed. My understanding is there are regulations governing how much space there is between cattle in transit. Too bad the same doesn’t apply to us. Surely the solution is simple. I can count people standing on this service every day. In addition, there are cameras on us at all times. They must know how many people are standing, so why don’t they just add another train car? I guess they’re too busy counting the pounds; there’s no time to count passengers. Secondly, there’s the delays and cancellations. I feel for those poor people commuting from Brighton to London who are apparently late for work every day due to ‘object on the tracks’, ‘train leaving depot late’, ‘lack of stock’ (did some train cars go missing overnight?) and the crowd favourite, ‘signal failure’. Lastly, I think Southeastern fails to award appropriate refunds for late and cancelled trains. I recently made around eight claims and received a grand total of just over £3 in return. If I were a politician, I’d allow competing train companies to run services on lines where there is currently a monopoly. And, I’d compare train services in other countries. Other nations with a more adverse climate — political and otherwise — can keep trains running on time. Why can’t we?
Cameron a. Straughan, Chatham, Kent.