Southeastern has announced 25 million domestic passenger journeys have been made on High Speed 1 between London and Kent since the launch of the service. This month marks three years since the introduction of the UK’s first domestic high speed service which has achieved some of the best records in punctuality and customer satisfaction in the country.
Charles Horton, managing director of Southeastern said: “The service has been an overwhelming success. In the three years since the launch we have extended the service to more destinations such Maidstone West, and to Sandwich and Deal with the support of Kent County Council, and we’ve boosted the number of services in the timetable to meet the increased demand.”
Nicola Shaw, chief executive of HS1 Ltd, said: “The world class reliability of High Speed 1 infrastructure keeps delays to customers down and delivers very fast journey times from Kent to London. The outstanding record means we can work with our partners to introduce innovations like Boxing Day services that we know passengers want."
The service was launched in December 2009 with 7.2 million passenger journeys in its first year. Journeys grew to around 8.2 million in the second year, and it now transports over 9 million people a year.
Horton continued: “The service has made the connection between Kent and London far more accessible than ever before and has slashed journey times. It’s also opened the county up to the rest of the UK; we’ve seen around 25 percent more journeys to Kent from beyond London than there were prior to the service.
“This year for the first time, we’re running a special Boxing Day service to help transport people between Ashford and London hoping to go to the post Christmas sales; and we’re offering free car parking at Ebbsfleet and Ashford as well. This is part of our continued focus to provide the best possible service for our passengers.”
Each year the high speed service continues to achieve top marks of 94 percent for customer satisfaction in the independent National Passenger Survey conducted by Passenger Focus. The Moving Annual Average (which measures punctuality over the year) for the service is consistently over 90 percent. The last reporting period (P1309) MAA was 93.9% on high speed.
The service also achieved international recognition this summer during the London 2012 Games shuttling over 2.4 million people to and from the Olympic Park at Stratford. Athletes, officials, VIPs and thousands of members of the press joined the millions of spectators who left their cars behind to use the Javelin service during the Games.
Half the fleet of Hitachi 395s are named after Britain’s fastest athletes. Southeastern is set to honour the stars of the London 2012 Games and will name the remaining trains after top Olympic and Paralympic Champions as voted by Southeastern employees. The full list of athletes will be unveiled in the New Year.