Evennett blasts Rail Minister on further South Eastern franchise delay

Yesterday (23 April) in the House of Commons Rt Hon Sir David Evennett MP lambasted the Rail Minister, Andrew Jones MP, during an Urgent Question on the further delay to the South Eastern Rail Franchise.

The latest delay will see Southeastern continue to operate the franchise until at least 10 November 2019, with an option to extend the agreement further to April 2020. Sir David has been campaigning for improvements to the rail service, including more frequent services, more carriages, and better delay repay, and is pressing for improvements from the new franchise to be delivered ahead of the announcement of the successful bidder.

During yesterday’s debate, Sir David commented:

“I note my honourable Friend’s statement today on the south eastern rail franchise. I am, of course, bitterly disappointed that we have not made any progress on this matter. In the meantime, my constituents continue to suffer a poor service into London. It is also disappointing, but rather ironic, that, just like the rail service, all we seem to see from his Department is continual delay. As he is well aware, improvements are desperately needed to our service in the borough of Bexley — and not later this year, next year or sometimes never. Our constituents are paying more money for a poor service. What we are expecting is a decision so that we can look to a better future and the travelling public from Bexley have a better service. At the moment, they do not.”