SouthEastern Stakeholder Forum – 9 December 2016

LOCAL ATTENDEES:

Martin Woodfine (St Leonards & Hastings Rail Improvement)
Trevor Davies (Ore Transport Group)
Lord Brett MacLean (1066 Business Representative)
Kevin Boorman (Hastings Borough Council)
John Steadman (Marshlink Action Group)
Roger Blake (RailFuture South East Division)
Bev Marks (Battle)
Crowhurst Parish

Meeting Chaired by Transport Focus who noted SE were trying to improve passenger experience by:

  • More staff visibility at Stations
  • Improved information at times of disruption – but a lot still to do
  • Overall Performance – improved during the summer but not as good over the past 8 weeks
  • Our thanks to SER for covering transport and costs and proving lunch.

Presentations

SE Presentation David Statham MD (DS) and Richard Dean Train Service Director (RD)

DS commented on ministerial statements
1) Link between NR and TOC’s SE already doing this at Blackfriars Control Centre
2) No devolution to TfL for SE (on hold) 2 edged sword
3) The existing SER franchise is being extended until December 2018.
The public/stakeholder consultation towards the new franchise will be launched in February 2017.

Since October 2014 300 more employees in customer facing roles; most stations have been repainted, and investment in better train cleaning (including during turn-rounds during the day)

In 2018 Thameslink services to Kent bring new travel opportunities’

Some PA announcements at stations can now be made from control centre to avoid ‘don’t know’ problems

Continuing investment in Charities and Communities £20k raised this year

RD

Confirmed stations skipped by a train counts as a cancellation but severe lateness can lead to cancellations so always a balance.

Particular infrastructure problems are compounded by a mix of old and new equipment between Hither Green and London Bridge – old is not yet life expired, but is impacting badly so must query if investment be brought forward.
Not all faults NR, some SE train failures and SE need to look at their procedures since these can bog down speedy decision making resulting in additional delays/problems

Leaf fall – late start but Storm Angus created 2 week spike in poor performance. SE feel railhead treatment been very good this year. Still need to reduce vegetation close to railway, but often opposed by community.

Delays

Analyzing delays (Galaxy plan) is big issue since no work is done on sub-threshold delays (1-2 minutes late) and this is 45% of all delays, and SE need to understand cause(s) to actively bear down on these (possibly poor train despatch, possibly passengers, possibly poor timekeeping). The other causes of delays are Infrastructure (NR) 40% and SE train fleet reliability (15%)

SE need detail working with NR to improve access for preventative maintenance (e.g. Hastings Line Monday to Wednesday)

Big challenge of temporary speed restrictions – to help drivers clearer signage being erected at TSR’s, plus active identification and resolution of risks.

Need to have a priority change at NR to work just as much on railway today as railway tomorrow

Richard Messingham NR Public Affairs Manager

Accepts asset not always up to job but only part of the problem, and NR not hiding from problems.
Network Management improving with new regulator role at Three Bridges ASC starting with recruitment of additional delay attributes personnel. Ongoing work identifying critical tunnel risks and high risk bridges as part of a ‘Tidy Railway’

Network Rail Performance

The PPM measure of performance is a gauge of NETWORK RAIL PERFORMANCE in respect of infrastructure performance; it is NOT a measure of an individual Train Operating Company (TOC) delivery of service.

PPM will ceased to be used as a performance measure with effect from CP6, when it will replaced by ‘Right Time Railway’ decisions making.

There will be (or already is??) an SER 2018 TT consultation. This will take consideration of, and adjust where appropriate, station dwell times versus actual passenger flows, especially in the peak.

Disruption information to passengers is impacted by 3 issues:
1) Time delay on getting accurate detail of anticipated duration of disruption
2) IT issues affecting getting accurate info to on-board crews
3) Industry-wide issues regarding how info is relayed

There are capacity issues across the SER network; a 40% rise in passenger flow during the existing franchise.

Following the success of 2012 Olympics, station passenger ambassadors are being introduced at major stations such as Charing Cross and Cannon Street.

SE have a request with DfT for additional rolling stock allowance, but any additional fleet would require extra sidings, maintenance facilities etc.

London Bridge rebuild now 2/3 complete. Approach lines to be completed during 2017.

Cross-Rail

Cross-Rail interconnectivity will transform passenger flows.

Free Wi-Fi on all SE trains; announcement very soon.

50% of Electrostar fleet now upgraded, rest of fleet including Networkers to follow.

It was queried that some long-platform stations only have one info-screen, often at one-end – can this be addressed?

It was also queried whether an Open Access Agreement would be more effective than a prescribed franchise and if the latter created a joint TOC/DfT hindrance to an effective network.

NOTE: There will be significant services changes over Christmas / New Year period; check websites and spread the word.

SHRIMP/OTG, December 2016.