Southern has announced a number of enhancements to its Mainline and Coastway Services, including:
- 108 new trains from early 2016.
- 1,000 extra standard-class seats between Brighton & London during peak time.
- Timetable improvements on a number of routes.
- Free WiFi at 104 stations.
- First-to-last station staffing at 7 more stations.
- Improvements to facilities at a number of stations.
- Ticket machines to be introduced at Newhaven Harbour, Normans Bay, Ore, Pevensey Bay, Southease, Three Oaks and Winchelsea.
These improvements are certainly welcome – although they represent a much smaller set of enhancements than many of us would have liked.
A matter than has been of concern is that there are a number of stations where Southern forces its customers to board without a ticket and, as a result, they may be at risk of being issued with a Penalty Fare that breaches the rules (i.e. unlawful).
The introduction of ticket machines at the 7 stations above reduces that risk (assuming the machines are working!) and this is good news for passengers at those stations.
Very disappointing is that Bishopstone has been omitted from the list, particularly since I wrote to Southern last year and asked them to install ticket machines at that station. I have written to Southern to ask why this station was not included.