It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Evans. I do not want to repeat the points that have been made today but rather touch in my remarks on three particular issues that affect my constituents: the overcrowding of carriages; the reliability of the service; and the poor communication from Southeastern about the delays and overcrowding.
I congratulate my hon. Friend Clive Efford on securing this vital debate. As other hon. Members have said, Southeastern trains and the lines that run through our constituencies are vital not only for getting our constituents to work and bringing economic benefits—with delays causing a loss of productivity—but for people’s general quality of life. There is a historical under-investment in public transport in south-east London. My constituents rely heavily on these lines and have suffered for too many years. We know the particular problems associated with the London Bridge rebuild, but as other hon. Members have said, this issue predates that and has got far worse since Christmas.
I now receive complaints about late, cancelled or overcrowded Southeastern train services nearly every day. As a commuter, I know just how frustrating not only major disruptions but the disruptions and delays that happen every single day can be. Whether it is two minutes here or five minutes there, it is often without explanation and causes immense frustration to the people waiting, who cannot get adequate compensation and are not regularly notified. The 7.39 train this morning from Deptford was cancelled without explanation, forcing people on to other lines or tube lines such as the Jubilee line which are already crowded.