FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHEASTERN PUBLISHING MISLEADING PUBLIC PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT (PPM) STATS
In early January 2016, Dartford Rail Travellers’ Association (DRTA) noticed that the PPM posters at Charing Cross were virtually identical (to one decimal place) to the previous month’s line of route results. The only difference being the overall PPM which was 1.3% lower than the previous period.
This was immediately raised to our contact at Southeastern who said would pass it onto the marketing team for investigation. Nearly a week later we were informed that the stats on the poster were “independently verified” and that they were “satisfied they were accurate”.
Phil Rogers, co-founder of DRTA, did some further analysis and noted how mathematically improbable it was that the results for each line of route can be the same for two periods in a row, whilst also reporting that the overall average had such a large deviance of 1.3%.
On reporting this to Southeastern the response was “The best way forward would be for you to meet with us to discuss this in more detail.”. Which is their standard response to many of our questions. A meeting is difficult for the two founders of DRTA as we are both in full-time employment, and a simple email response can adequately address our concerns in this case once Southeastern carried out a full and detailed investigation based on our findings.
Rail users rely on PPM stats to see how their line is performing and these need to be accurate.
It is a requirement of both the Southeastern franchise , and Southeastern’s own Passenger Charter, to provide PPM data by line of route, and overall, for each 4 week period. This data is to be provided online and at selected stations.
They have not done this since period 8 which ended on 14th November 2015.
We call on Southeastern for an urgent review of their reporting process, and their “independent verification” to ensure that the information they provide to customers is accurate and correct for the period they report. And that this data is provided in a timely manner.
Phil Rogers today said “It is unacceptable that they haven’t provided this so far for Period 9 (15th November – 12th December 2015) and that they continue to fob off passengers and rail user groups that have asked for this. This information is available to them and continually lying to customers with wrong data is not what a train company, that paid a dividend of £25m to their parent company last week, should be doing. If Southeastern still stand by their Period 9 poster and provide verifiable data, then, as way of an apology I am more than happy to donate £250 to a charity of their choice.”
Phil Rogers, Mike Pellatt
Co-founders, Dartford Rail Travellers’ Association
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Dartford Rail Travellers’ Association: DRTA was formed in November 2014 after Phil Rogers’ appearance on BBC Radio Kent at the start of the renewed Southeastern franchise and further discussions with Southeastern. Together with Mike Pellatt, a fellow Dartford commuter, DRTA operate via Facebook (Dartford Rail Travellers’ Association), Twitter (@DartfordRailTA) and on the web (http://www.drta.org.uk)
Previous articles on our website about this issue can be found here – https://www.drta.org.uk/112/ppm-posters-what-can-you-trust/ – and here – https://www.drta.org.uk/119/independently-audited-ppm-stats-from-southeastern-lies/
The franchise document can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/485668/red_lser-rail-franchise-agreement.pdf – with the relevant PPM section on page 247
Southeastern’s Passenger Charter is available here: http://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/download/16816.8/dac-passenger-charter-2014/ – with the relevant PPM section on page 24
DRTA can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org