Speaking on Channel 4 News, Mark Reckless highlights the “extraordinarily impressive” national manifesto launched today.
Tag Archives: commuters
Mark Reckless has had confirmation from the Rail Minister, in answer to a parliamentary question, that the journey time to London may decrease when our new train station for Rochester opens in December.
Mark will now meet Southeastern trains to press for a noticeable reduction in journey time to London for as many trains as possible once Rochester’s new station opens and the new timetable begins in December.
There should be scope for some reductions in journey times from Rochester to London because, as well as Rochester station moving half a kilometre up the tracks towards London, the signalling system is also being modernised.
Mark will also discuss with Southeastern the difficulties Kent commuters are having through London Bridge, and the recent shortening of some trains, including the 17:25 St Pancras to Faversham service which has nonsensically been reduced to six carriages (reportedly so the carriages can instead be shunted around Deal and Walmer largely empty).
Mark’s Parliamentary exchange with the minister was as follows:
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the reduction in journey time from Rochester to London that will result from the new station in Rochester and the improvements to signalling on that route being undertaken by Network Rail.
This Government is committed to an unprecedented programme of planned rail improvements, including the entire £26m rebuild of Rochester station this year. The signalling work on that route will improve network capacity in the Rochester area and promote more robust performance and infrastructure reliability for rail services. The new station, which will provide 12-carriage platforms at Rochester for the first time, will improve access and integration with Rochester city centre, with step-free access to all platforms and new facilities for passengers, including additional car parking spaces. Network Rail has advised that there may be a slight decrease in journey time although the final December 2015 timetable has not been settled.
Mark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood, was delighted to meet and congratulate staff and station managers at Strood railway station after both Rochester and Strood stations were recognised by the Department for Transport under the ‘Secure Stations Scheme’.
The scheme, which is run by the Department for Transport and the British Transport Police, recognises stations which effectively work to reduce crime, theft and antisocial behaviour, as well as generally making passengers feel safer and more secure.
Speaking of the awards, Mark Reckless said:
“This is very good news for rail passengers in my constituency. I am very pleased that both Strood and Rochester stations have fulfilled the criteria to be included in the Department for Transport’s ‘Secure Stations Scheme’. The Scheme’s guidelines are very stringent and it is clear that the management and staff at both railway stations have worked hard and deserve this recognition.
This accreditation shows that not only have managers and staff met the tough targets which are set by the Department for Transport and British Transport Police, but that passengers using these stations have seen a real and welcome difference in the service which they receive.
As a regular commuter myself it is reassuring to me and my constituents to know that this level of security is being maintained at both Rochester and Strood railways stations. My congratulations and thanks to all of the staff and managers who have worked hard to achieve this recognition.”
I have been deluged by tweets over the past few hours by commuters furious with Southeastern trains for cancelling trains across their network, except HS1, even apparently dumping passengers at stations far from home.
To add insult to injury Southeastern are still forcing people to pay £ supplements to travel on HS1. I am demanding such charges be refunded by Southeastern.
Kent MPs were told by Southeastern at several presentations that they had now put in place proper contingency preparations for snow, and that lessons had been learnt from previous years, yet nothing really seems to have changed.
A blanket cancellation policy for what has initially been far short of blanket snowfall is pathetic.
It is a Friday night, the worst time for many commuters to be let down. Yet Southeastern haven’t even had to deal with train drivers not being able to get in from home, or get trains back in place for a next morning commute.
Where is Charles Horton? Will anyone listen to his explanations?
Mark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood, has welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister earlier today that rail fare increases for 2013 are to be capped at RPI+1%.
Hailing this major victory for hard-pressed commuters, Mark Reckless said:
At last after years of campaigning, particularly with Tracey Crouch MP, both in public and equally importantly by lobbying ministers in private, we have ended Labour’s disgraceful policy of increasing Southeastern rail fares by 3% over inflation annually.
By exposing the effect it had when Labour used our commuters as guinea pigs for RPI +3% we have succeeded in protecting commuters nationally.
I would like to thank Radio 4 for the support which they gave me with the campaign, including coming to Grain at 6am and then Strood to meet commuters getting the coach to London because they could not afford the train.
A victory for long-suffering Southeastern commuters with whom I will now work to stop even 1% above inflation increases as soon as we possibly can.