Sunday, 2 December 2012

Southeastern announce cash cow Deal

The success of high-speed services for DEAL has resulted in Southeastern turning the service into a cash cow after an inflation busting fare increase has been announced. From January 2013 DEAL and Sandwich commuter season tickets will go up by 6.46%, the highest increase in the country.

Ironically news of the increase came on the very day Kent County Council launched their "Grow For It in East Kent" campaign. A campaign which builds on the Pfizer Task Force recommendation to introduce high-speed services to DEAL and Sandwich and promote the new links as great destinations for business and tourism.

As a regular commuter on the service myself I have witnessed the huge increase of commuters from DEAL which has now resulted in the introduction of the first commercially operated services. 

Southeastern shareholders must be rubbing their hands with glee as simply stopping trains at a station is creating such a great cash cow for them. Ironically none of the cash appears to be reinvested locally. We still have a broken station clock, unreadable station sign, line restrictions and semaphore signalling which causes constant delays.

The real travesty is that the Government, Kent County Council and our MP Charlie Elphicke appear oblivious to the damage this increase will cause to job opportunities and tourism. The very things they say they are committed to.

Equally, Southeastern shareholders may find they achieve a quick windfall but eventually they will simply price people off the service.