London Bridge Station (Redevelopment)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:00 am on 27th January 2015.

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Photo of Heidi Alexander Heidi Alexander Opposition Whip (Commons) 11:00 am, 27th January 2015

I share the hon. Gentleman’s view. This is difficult, to be fair to Southeastern, but we need to find a way of raising awareness of the other tube and bus routes that people can use to travel to and from the London Bridge area. If extra buses are needed on some of those routes, they should be delivered. Transport for London has laid on extra buses for the No. 21 route from Lewisham, but is there a case for some express services from south-east London into London Bridge further to ease some of the overcrowding?

The past few weeks have reinforced my constituents’ long-held view that annual fare hikes are not justified. Will the Minister expect Southeastern customers to pay more for their travel next year, too? If the services continue to be abysmal, is it not reasonable to consider freezing Southeastern fares next January to reflect the huge inconvenience that so many are experiencing? The current compensation scheme for delays on Southeastern is almost meaningless to my constituents, as whether or not a train is on time is irrelevant if people cannot get on it.

I could say much more, but I am conscious that my hon. Friends wish to speak, so I will draw my remarks to a close. More capacity and better communication could help to ease the pressures on the Southeastern network. If that is not possible, fair and reasonable compensation should be considered. I look forward to the Minister’s response.