Southeastern, which runs trains from Hastings, Battle and Tunbridge Wells to London’s Charing Cross and Cannon Street stations, announced this week it will be reinstating its 12 carriages to the 18:28 service from Cannon Street to Ore from Monday (March 30) in response to passenger feedback.
Earlier this month Southeastern moved four carriages from the train to the busier 19:04 service to Hastings. The later train was one of 14 lengthened by Southeastern in response to passenger demand.
It confirmed both services will run as 12-carriage trains from Monday.
The additional four carriages have been moved from the 20:15 service from Charing Cross to Hastings. As a result of the changes to this service, Southeastern has been able to reinstate four carriages onto the 20:45 service from Charing Cross.
Hastings MP Amber Rudd welcomed the news. She said she and her Tunbridge Wells counterpart, Greg Clark, put pressure on Southeastern to reinstate the 12-carriage 18:28 Cannon Street to Ore service in order to ease overcrowding.
Having seen for myself the overcrowding on the 18:28 Cannon Street to Ore service, it is good to see that Southeastern has listened to me and fellow commuters and reinstated the 12-carriage service
She said: “Having seen for myself the overcrowding on the 18:28 Cannon Street to Ore service, it is good to see that Southeastern has listened to me and fellow commuters and reinstated the 12-carriage service. We now have both the 18:28 and 19:04 service running with 12 carriages, this is welcome news for commuters.”
David Statham, managing director of Southeastern, said: “We regularly review our timetable and monitor the number of passengers on our trains.
“In March we moved carriages from less busy services to those most in need of extra space. Now we have found a solution allowing us to reinstate four carriages to the 18:28 from Cannon Street to Ore without compromising the increase in length of the 19:04 service.”
Ray Chapman, from East Sussex Rail Alliance, said rail action groups, including St Leonards and Hastings Rail Improvement Programme (SHRIMP), were working with Southeastern to give regular commuters the chance to air their views with the firm’s managing director while on their journeys.
Edd Ross, spokesman for Southeastern, said: “The managing director of Southeastern is keen to share the journey experience of regular commuters, listen to their feedback and where possible, act on suggestions as to how their travel experience might be improved. We have approached East Sussex Rail Alliance to ask it to suggest to regular commuters if they may be interested in travelling with Mr Statham as we continue to invest in improving rail services for all passengers across its network.”