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It’s not your imagination – trains to London really are slow

A frustrated commuter from Herne Bay has called on Southeastern
to put its foot down on journeys to London.

Tim Waltham, of Conyngham Road, Beltinge, has recorded the time
it takes to travel to various cities from London – and was stunned
when comparing it to travel times from Herne Bay to the
capital.

The 68-mile journey takes an hour and 34 minutes but some
commutes of nearly twice that distance get to the capital
faster. Mr Waltham turned on the GPS on his phone and worked out the
average speed from Herne Bay to London was just 45mph.

It comes in a week when a survey for Which? put Southeastern
among the four least popular train operators in the country. Mr Waltham said:

“When you start comparing different places and
how long it takes, it shows you how slow the line from Herne Bay
is. It takes the same time to get to the other side of the country
as from Herne Bay to London. Since we have had the high-speed line, the ordinary train
stops at more of the little stations on the way to London – all the
tiny stations which no one gets on at. That’s my perception.

We have got a high-speed train, but we should get them on the
Trade Descriptions Act because it is not high speed where we
are. You have to get on at Faversham and it only becomes high speed
once it gets to Ebbsfleet. They are talking about putting a high-speed train from London
to Birmingham but it is already quicker to get from London to
Birmingham than from London to Herne Bay.”

A frustrated commuter from Herne Bay has called on Southeastern
to put its foot down on journeys to London. , of Conyngham Road, Beltinge, has recorded the time
it takes to travel to various cities from London – and was stunned
when comparing it to travel times from Herne Bay to the
capital.

A journey from Derby to London, nearly twice the distance of
Herne Bay at 128 miles, comes in three minutes faster at one hour
31 minutes. Peterborough, which is 84 miles away, takes just 45 minutes,
while Bath Spa, 114 miles away, takes just one hour and 24
minutes.

Part of the reason trains are slower in Kent is that the North
Kent mainline is only dual tracked. That means operator Southeastern cannot run parallel fast and
stopping services – unlike all other train operating companies
serving London.

Proposals to reduce journey times by removing stops at Longfield
and Meopham were overwhelmingly rejected with more than 600
objections from passengers. Southeastern spokesman Alison Nolan said:

“A semi-fast train
from London to Birmingham will call at just three stations. However
a train from Victoria to Herne Bay will call at between 10 and 15
stations. The stopping pattern is stipulated by the Department for
Transport – not Southeastern.”

kentonline 21st Feb 2013

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