Keep disruption to a minimum

Your correspondent Mr Martin-Royale pulls me up for referring to Southeastern as the cause of cause of a bus replacement for any passenger travelling to the constituency on the Hastings line after 9pm on a Monday or Tuesday.

Whilst it is technically correct that Network Rail are completing the engineering works, I expect the rail company, from whom we buy our tickets, to own the situation and ensure the minimum level of disruption.

The announcement that this state of affairs will now last until December has caused me to write to Southeastern for a reason as to why they did not push Network Rail in to carrying out the work after the trains have stopped running for the night.

I have had an explanation to show that the work will benefit commuters in the long run but this has not answered my question.

This week, in the House of Commons, I raised this issue for my constituents and was given an assurance by the rail minister that she would look into this if I can get no logical explanation from Southeastern and Network Rail.

It should be noted that passengers do not buy their tickets from Network Rail but from their rail operator.

On that basis, I expect the rail operator to own the situation and defend customers from disruption to their services.

Once I find out more, I will update readers.

Huw Merriman

MP for Bexhill and Battle

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