More Southeastern trains arrive 'on time' in Kent

More Southeastern trains are arriving on time than at any time since the company took over the franchise seven years ago, figures have shown.

However, commuters say they are still encountering problems with punctuality and the trains themselves.

Network Rail statistics show more than 91% of trains arrived within five minutes of schedule, in the last year.

The figure, which meets Network Rail's criteria for "on time", is just above the national average.

'Service isn't brilliant'

Southeastern operates services in south London, Kent and East Sussex.

Tracey Crouch MP, who represents Chatham and Aylesford, said: "I'm pleased to see Southeastern has improved, it's about time.

"They've had a lot of investment and a lot of time to do so.

"I stand by the views of my constituents who commute every day that the service isn't brilliant."

Another measure of train performance looks at how many trains arrive less than one minute late.

It was met by 64.6% of Southeastern trains - less than two out of three.

A commuter at Canterbury West station said: "In the past three years of me taking the train, I can count on my fingers how many times the train has actually left the station on time or arrived on time.

"Even though it might be two minutes late, it's still two minutes late."

'Incredible hard work'

Another man said: "I get the train in a few days a week and generally speaking, it's late or there's some issue with the train like there's no heat on it.

"There's always something wrong to infuriate me on a weekday morning."

Southeastern spokeswoman Sarah Boundy said the company was running more trains than ever.

"We've got 2,000 trains every day, we're carrying more passengers," she said.

"The fact that our punctuality figures have really improved is testament to the incredible hard work that our staff do, and Network Rail."

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