The government is planning to award a new franchise for the period 2019 - 2026 and they have launched a consultation to see what people want it to include.
At the moment 182 million passengers a year use South Eastern. In the next 2 years they plan to introduce wi-fi on all trains, reduce the threshold for delay repay to 15 minutes and introduce season tickets for part time workers. The area has ageing and in places inadequate infrastructure and overcrowding, while the range of London destinations causes congestion at points. They foresee increases in passenger numbers related to increasing population of London and the Thames Gateway.
To deal with overcrowding they offer options to increase length of trains, remove 1st class or to redesign the carriage seating to fit more in.
Other areas they are looking to improve are smart ticketing, disabled access, station facilities. One proposal which looks ominous for Longfield is to speed up longer journeys by removing stops on route. Also under threat is the Longfield to Blackfriars service, as they think that trains from an area should only run to one London destination.
They propose a 'simpler' timetable with regular timings. They also suggest that a new franchisee looks to improve connections in London. They want would be franchisees to say how they would improve availability of staff if people need them.
(Department for Transport 15 March 2017)