Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Ticket to Ride - Gale Challenges Secretary of State

North Thanet's MP, Roger Gale, has challenged the Secretary of State for Transport, Ruth Kelly, to travel on the Kent Coast line between Thanet and London and to witness the conditions of service for herself.

Speaking during a Commons Debate on the performance of Network Rail the MP said:

"The Secretary of State may make light of the New Year price increases but commuters from East Kent to London have faced a massive hike in their fares and they feel that with trains shorter, overcrowded and with poor timekeeping they are paying more for less.

I would like to invite the Secretary of State to join me on the train from Thanet to London where I will do my best to guarantee her personal safety".

Responding, Ruth Kelly said that she did not need to travel on these trains to understand the problem.

"Commuters are very angry indeed" said Roger Gale after the exchange. "South East Trains are charging more, passengers are faced with the prospect of a reduction in the number of trains to Cannon Street and Victoria and higher fares to St Pancras necessitating a waste of more time and money spent on underground trains to get from the terminus to work. I suspect that if the Secretary of State did face travellers on the morning trains I would have to work hard to protect her".

Since the New Year some trains have been shorter, leading to overcrowding, and have been running late. Network Rail still have to carry out repairs to prevent water entering Herne Bay station before South East can begin work to refurbish the station and the train operator is now claiming that in spite of door locking systems that are designed to prevent passengers from leaving trains outside platforms they cannot run train sets that are longer than the platforms at the stops.

With passengers paying more for the pleasure of standing or sitting on the floor and arriving late feelings are running high and there are already calls for senior management at South East and Network Rail to be replaced.

"The Rail Regulator will be conducting an enquiry into the West Coast Main Line fiasco" says Roger Gale " but on past form no executive or ministerial heads will roll. This is a "NotMeGov" administration that does not take responsibility and you can bet that the Secretary of State will not carry the can for the failure of its re-nationalised service".

12 comments:

Mr Friday said...

Yes, this is a good one.

Dear Ruth Kelly. Come and join me in my first-class (all taxpayer-funded) train carriage and I will explain what "ordinary commuters" have to put up with with overcrowding and excessive fare increases. Not that I know of course but I can hear them moaning occasionally a few carriages down. I do like to keep the door shut though as it gets awfully cold in these first class parts. Now, where is that buffet trolley ? Note to self - must remember to claim this all on expenses too.

Love Roger.

Anonymous said...

Unkind, Mr Friday and misses the point. How, Roger Gale travels is not the issue. He has a right, no, duty, as Thanet North MP to put forward in Parliament issues that are raised with him by his constituents.The issue of travel to London by train from Thanet affects many of us adversely and despite having a Minister for Transport representing Thanet South constituents for a number of years, the situation has if anything got worse. You might not like Roger Gale or his MPs perks but you cannot fault the fact that he is doing more on this issue to represent Thanet people than the MP for Thanet South who is more interested in turning his time as Minister for Transport into a lucrative job in the private sector.

tony flaig bignews said...

Think Ladyman was also present during that debate, no doubt keeping his transport experience upto date for the other job.

His performance wasn't that memorable either, I think he may have been there just to feed a line to Ruth Kelly.

Anonymous said...

"don't mention the lost data" ?

Anonymous said...

DOES IT NOT MAKE YOU PROUD TO HAVE AN MP LIKE ROGER GALE HE WORKS SO HARD FOR THE PEOPLE OF THANET ,AND THE PEOPLE OF THANET WHAT EVER PARTY THEY SURPORT WELLDONE ROGER

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who prefers apples to bananas.
What a fool!

Tony Beachcomber said...

It is not called South East Trains anymore, the new company is London and Southeastern Railway otherwise known as Southeastern. It's okay Roger just put it down to old age .

Anonymous said...

64 and looking every year of it.

Anonymous said...

What does Roger Gale know about trains? He may say he uses them to you.But whenever I see him he is in his car. I know he likes boats as he was once an illegal DJ in apirate radio den



Martin Fox

Anonymous said...

DOES IT NOT MAKE YOU PROUD TO HAVE AN MP LIKE ROGER GALE HE WORKS SO HARD FOR THE PEOPLE OF THANET,AND I HOPE THAT ALL THE LAZY POOR PEOPLE LEAVE HIM ALONE AND LET HIM VOTE FOR ANOTHER PAY INCREASE AS HE NEEDS LOADS OF MONEY £££££


I'm alright Roger!

Anonymous said...

HAving watched this debate I had to laugh when Rt hon John redwood stood up and demanded that the Government should renationalise the railways. This is a person who was in the cabinet who voted for the railway to be split up and not just Railtrack and 20 odd different train companys they even split the train carriages up between three different owners for leasing(slam door stock)

When is anyone going to get it, it is going to be impossible to reverse the situation we have now as all these train companys have different amount of times left on their contracts and would cost the taxpayer millions to buy them out and then we would be back to square one

Ken Gregory said...

Martin Fox, you are obviously a youngster, Roger was ,as you correctly say, what they called a 'Pirate Radio' presenter. However, at the time the offshore stations were not illegal as they were outside UK territorial waters. It was made illegal for uk nationals to work on them at Midnight August 14th 1967, by which time Roger had left

Sorry to sound like an 'Anorak', but it is raining