(2) what discussions her Department has had with Southeastern Trains on introducing 12 car trains; and if she will make a statement;
(3) what estimate she has made of the future demands for extra capacity on North Kent services between London and Dartford; and if she will make a statement.
The rail White Paper published in July set out the safety, reliability and capacity improvements the Government want to buy by 2014. The next step in the process is for the industry to consider in more detail how best to deliver those improvements, though the specimen capacity options published in conjunction with the White Paper did identify platform lengthening on two of the three London to Dartford routes as a scheme which could contribute towards achieving the capacity target.
“Southeastern” is the current operator of trains in south east London and Kent, including services between London and Dartford. Southeastern took control of this franchise in April 2006. The previous operator was South Eastern Trains.
Since April 2006, average punctuality and reliability on Southeastern's routes improved from 86.7 per cent. to 88.9 per cent. The previous operator, South Eastern Trains, had been responsible for raising average performance from 79.4 per cent. when it took over operations in November 2003.
Figures reflect the performance of all services operated by this franchise, as the Department does not hold the data for the London-Dartford routes on their own.