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The Truth About Southeastern – A Franchise Consultation Response

Charles Horton, Managing Director of Southeastern, is no doubt patting himself on the back after winning awards.  Quite how their incompetence and unpleasantness elsewhere has gone unnoticed bemuses me, especially in light of the recent Department for Transport consultation about the SouthEastern Franchise.  No doubt Mr Horton and his PR drones are doing everything they can to try and spin their way to an utterly undeserved renewal of the franchise.

London Travelwatch’s response (PDF file) to this consultation was weak, ineffective and lacked any reference towards the disgracefully inaccessible state of many stations and the unacceptable attitudes of many Southeastern staff.  Only once is there a reference to disabled people.  The London Assembly’s response was somewhat better but would have carried more weight had they placed votes of no confidence in Southeastern when I requested them to after the last two major snowfalls in 2010.  But the London Assembly counts among its numbers the serial Southeastern apologist James Cleverly, who no doubt believes everything that comes out of the mouths of Southeastern’s PR machine and considers the real life experiences of people who use Southeastern every day to be inane witterings of little worth.  So a vote of no-confidence was always going to be very unlikely.

Here’s something that may be of interest to Mr Horton, Mr Cleverly and the Southeastern PR machine, who will be disappointed to learn that I don’t brainwash.  Southeastern is, in my view, the worst Train Operating Company in the country and I have told the Department for Transport as much in my response to the consultation (PDF document).  This document contains my sincerely held opinions based upon my experiences using Southeastern’s services every day over the last three years.

With enough lobbying of the DfT from commuters who have had enough of Southeastern’s abysmal service and attitude, we will get a new Franchisee who will be held to the strongest account.  And come the next London elections it is my hope that serial Southeastern apologists will be wiped from the Assembly.

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