This press release has bene updated on 26th April after reviewing the franchise document
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
26th April 2016
Today we finally obtained the performance data from the Department for Transport for Southeastern since the Direct Award franchise renewal began in October 2014.
This data has, until now, not been put into the public domain, despite claims by Rail Minister back in September 2014 that Southeastern will be subject to ‘tough targets’.
The reported PPM (http://serailaction.uk/2016-04-21-Southeastern-performance-data.html - see tables 4 and 5) shows that Southeastern have not been meeting their target Public Performance Measure (PPM) since April 2015, and the general sentiment we see on social media about the rail service is that rail users are not pleased with the service they get, with regular delays and trains skipping stations whilst leaving rail users further delayed.
Phil Rogers today said “I have been trying to understand these ‘tough targets’ that Claire Perry proudly announced in September 2014, and have been met by countless barriers: from getting access to the franchise document, to getting PPM targets, and recently getting the actual performance data, which Southeastern Managing Director David Statham proudly declared he would be transparent on, when we spent an hour on Radio Kent on Day 2 of the renewed franchise.
“The data clearly shows that whilst Southeastern, through their PPM (Public Performance Measure) data, have not met their targets, as far as the Department for Transport are concerned they have more than met the ‘tough targets’ set out for them.
“The obfuscation of this data, and reluctance to reveal it, makes me wonder why both the DfT and Southeastern would be so protective over releasing this data. It shows them in a good light.
“What is abundantly clear, is that the rail users in South East England were sold a dud back in September 2014 when Claire Perry made us believe that tough targets were in place. They were not.
“It’s time that the Department for Transport come clean about what these ‘tough targets’ actually entail, and what steps they will now take to ensure that Southeastern rail users get the rail service that they deserve for the thousands of pounds that they pay each year for annual rail tickets.
“In the light of this data, I also call on Claire Perry to make a statement about these ‘tough targets’, and why we haven’t seen any visible improvement in the last 18 months - she is more than welcome to contact me for a face to face meeting in Westminster.”
The full data can be seen in the response to the Freedom Of Information request at: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/324669/response/801193/attach/4/F0013528%20Reply.doc.pdf and the analysis from SERAG at http://serailaction.uk/2016-04-21-Southeastern-performance-data.html
After review of the franchise document, it appears that Southeastern will be rewarded for more than meeting the ‘tough targets’ set out before them - at the time when the Public Performance Measure targets aren’t met.
Phil Rogers said “For Southeastern to profit from the misery that they inflict on rail users daily is more than outrageous. They have not met their Public Performance Measure targets in the last 12 months, yet, according to the franchise documents, have met the ‘tough targets’ that we have been sold, and being rewarded financially for this.
“Given the £70m that is already being given to them from the taxpayer for running this franchise, further funding to contribute to their parent companies’ profits, as we see a rail service that deteriorates daily, is yet another slap in the face for rail users in South East England.
“Today I call on all rail users to send a letter or email to their MP to express their displeasure at how our railways are being run - a template letter is now available on the Southeastern Railway Action Group website at http://serailaction.uk/2016-04-26-Template-Letter.html
About Southeastern Rail Action Group: SERAG was formed in January 2016 by Phil Rogers (also co-founder of Dartford Rail Travellers’ Association) to bring Southeastern rail users together for a collective voice to air concerns about the rail service, and to amplify issues which would previously be within the realms of a more local rail group. In the space of under 2 months we have had over 500 followers on Twitter and over 100 on Facebook, and the community is growing.