Friday, 21 October 2011

Opportunity is the new Deal

On the 5th September 2011 Southeastern extended Britain's first highspeed rail service to Deal station in Kent. It's hard not to be impressed with the Hitatchi Class 395 "Javelin" trains and there is a renaissance of commuters now arriving at Deal train station in the mornings to board the trains to London St Pancras.

Journeys times have been slashed (Stratford: 74mins) (St Pancras: 80mins) and the reliability of the service has been proven to be far superior to Classic mainline services. The service does cost a premium but an annual season ticket from Deal to London St Pancras equates to £20.15 a day which is competitive to road fuel prices, but admittedly it should be more competitive.

Although unemployment is rising alarmingly there are still plenty of job opportunities in London which has a vast and diverse career market. If you have skills which London companies can use and the right attitude there are always job opportunities. Commuting is not for everyone but when you consider the higher salaries and career options it can be appealing. It is in the interest of everyone in Deal that the highspeed commuter service grows, as Kent County Council who are funding this service have stressed "use it or lose it". Commuters earning higher salaries in London bring additional money into our local economy and it also increases the likelihood of a full highspeed service being introduced.

It's not one way traffic either! Friday night services from St Pancras to Deal have seen the highest passenger numbers as people have taken the opportunity to travel down direct to Deal via highspeed for a weekend break, which has taken Southeastern a little by surprise. This is fantastic news for our shops, hotels, restaurants, pubs, attractions... etc and should be encouraged as we have a unique identity in Deal which should be shared and capitalised on. I can't help conclude the noticeable improvement and investment into our High Street recently has been helped by the introduction of the highspeed service.

Westfield Stratford City Jobs

Monday, 17 October 2011

Deal station

I am sorry that the toilets at Deal station have been closed for a few weeks. I can confirm that the toilets were closed due to a burst water main. I understand that the water main has been repaired, but there remains insufficient water pressure to adequately feed the toilet systems which has resulted in a two hour wait between flushes. As this is unacceptable for public use, we are in negotiation with the local water company to address this fault.

Unfortunately, experience tells us that such problems can take a number of months to resolve, so I regret to say that it is unlikely that we will be able to open the toilets in the short term, and we cannot provide a timescale for when the problem will be rectified at this point in time. However, the local Station Manager, is only too aware of the problem and he is making every effort to ensure that it is resolved as quickly as possible.

Having said this, I understand that there is a separate disabled toilet at the station which is possible to flush more frequently, so we have been using this toilet on an emergency basis for those in desperate need of toilet facilities. In the mean time, the main toilets will need to remain closed until they are in a fit condition to use and passengers are advised to use on-train facilities wherever possible. I am sorry for any inconvenience or discomfort that may result whilst the toilets are out of action.

On a separate matter raised, I can confirm that Deal is covered by CCTV. Rolling out Secure Station Accreditation is split into 14 phases, with 9 completed to date. Deal is in phase 14, so there are no immediate plans to seek secure station accreditation at this location, but this will occur in due course.

I hope this information is helpful and thank you for your enquiry.

Yours sincerely

Daniel Westlake

Customer Relations Officer