Southeastern audit confirms train punctuality 'correct'

Southeastern passengers Southeastern beat its target of 82% of services running on time by 0.04%, the audit found

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An audit of Southeastern train services has found it did run enough services on time last year to avoid having to pay out compensation to passengers.

An independent report by the University of Sheffield, commissioned by the rail firm, said punctuality figures were correctly and accurately validated.

The company ran an average of 82.04% of trains on time, beating the 82% target below which it has to pay compensation.

Southeastern said it was continuing to concentrate on improving its service.

"We can confirm that the independent audit by the University of Sheffield has passed our Passenger Charter figures as being accurate," it said in a statement.

'Proper audit'

After the punctuality figures were released in January, showing Southeastern had narrowly met its requirement for 2010, some MPs and passengers demanded they were checked again.

A recent investigation by BBC South East also discovered the good punctuality figures for the new high-speed Javelin trains had pushed up the overall average.

Tracey Crouch, Conservative MP for Chatham and Aylesford, said she still had "very severe reservations" about the figures confirmed by the independent audit.

"I think that when a company commissions an audit into its own figures, pays for that audit, receives the audit itself and can comment on it before it can publish it, then I fear that it's not as truly independent as perhaps it ought to be.

"Kent MPs have collectively asked the Department for Transport to hold a proper independent audit which Southeastern itself will have no control of before it's published."

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