General News

Brighton Kemptown MP meets rail management for improvement talks

Sarah Green February 2, 2015

Earlier today, Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven, met with management from Network Rail, Southern and Thameslink and Claire Perry MP, the Parliamentary Under-secretary of State for Transport, to discuss much needed improvements to the rail service.

Simon Kirby MP
Simon Kirby MP

FOLLOWING Simon’s ongoing interest in the local rail services, the Rail Minister invited Simon to take part in a round-table meeting with the senior management teams of rail companies over improvements to the service that his constituents receive.

With extensive delays to Thameslink services all last week, there was an even greater need for the rail providers to share their plans for improving their service.

During the meeting it was proposed that there would be three stages of improvements:

• Short Term (to mid-2015)

• Medium Term (to December 2015) and

• Long Term (to December 2018)

The short-term proposals focused on resolving issues relating to London Bridge, including investing in the London Bridge diversion route, changing timetables at the station, and bringing in more staff to help passengers and dispatch trains.

Work will be done in the short term to renew points at Haywards Heath, something that should have a positive impact on all those using the Brighton Main Line.

In the medium term the rail companies will be rolling out more new trains, helping with reliability and reducing maintenance times.

By December 2015 Thameslink and Southern also aim to have 51 newly-qualified drivers, so that driver shortages can cease to cause disruptions to services, as well as introducing new maintenance regimes and innovative mobile maintenance trains.

Finally, in the long term, there are plans for more new rolling stock, the completion of the redevelopment of London Bridge, and improved drainage on the lines, among other plans.

After the meeting, Mr Kirby said: “I was pleased to be able to meet with senior management from Southern, Thameslink and Network Rail and make the case about improving the service residents receive. The service in recent months and weeks has been completely unacceptable, and I made sure I made the rail companies very aware of my constituents’ feelings during the meeting.

“The rail companies’ plans show that they are determined to make improvements, and I hope that the action they are taking will begin to have a direct impact on reliability as soon as possible.

“I am particularly pleased to see that there will be additional night-time infrastructure maintenance, which should go a long way towards seeing faster repairs and improvements. It is also fantastic news for rail users that the networks have listened to my campaigning and will be introducing improved delay compensation services.

“I am sure that the many commuters living in Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven will be pleased to see that improvement works are being introduced immediately, and I will make sure to keep the pressure on the rail companies to bring about a tangible improvement as soon as possible.”