The MP for Kingston and Surbiton has criticised South Western Railway and the Department for Transport for bringing “misery to local commuters”.

Ed Davey has written to the Transport Secretary to urge him to address the “shocking performance of South Western Railway and Network Rail” affecting Kingston and Surbiton residents.

The MP's letter read: “It is making them less productive at work. It is upsetting their daily lives. It is damaging their family lives.

“Yet there is a lot that could have been done before and could still be done now.

“I doubt you will accept all of my recommendations but I would nevertheless be grateful for a meeting to discuss this, at your earliest convenience.”

Mr Davey has called on the Department for Transport to either strip South Western Railway of its contract or impose a new performance-based contract on the train operating company.

He suggested the new contract could require South Western Railway to hit key targets before any profit can be made with penalties incurred if performance drops below a certain level.

The targets would include “a dramatic improvement in communications with passengers and a return to options for automatic compensation”.

In a report written by the MP and shared with Chris Grayling, Mr Davey describes “systematic management failures” by the Department for Transport, South Western Railway, and Network Rail.

The report is partly based on an independent performance review chaired by former railwayman Sir Michael Holden, which offered 28 different recommendations for improving the railway network and offered possible explanations for the railway's "long term decline", claiming it has been ongoing since 2011.

Mr Davey wrote: "The evidence from major reviews by the Office of Road and Rail and by Sir Michael Holden points to serious and sustained management failures by South Western Railway and Network Rail, as well as failures by the Department of Transport and the previous franchisee, South West Trains."

When contacted for comment, South Western Railway pointed out that it would be investing £1.2 billion towards getting more seats on trains, improving performance, punctuality, station facilities, ticket buying options and customer information.

Of the £1.2 billion, £895 million will go towards purchasing a brand-new fleet of 90 trains with 750 air-conditioned carriages with toilets for use on suburban services, and £110 million will be spent on train refurbishments.

A South Western Railway spokesperson said: “We recognise that we haven’t delivered the standard of performance expected for our customers and that’s why earlier this year we took action to commission an independent review of performance across the Wessex route.

"We accept all of the recommendations made by Sir Michael in his report and we are already working very closely with Network Rail and the Department for Transport to ensure we improve train service performance for the benefit of our customers.

“Typically, around 25 percent of delays are within SWR’s control with the majority of those delays related to train reliability issues and that’s why we are making a £5m investment to make our trains more reliable."

A Conservative Party Spokesman said: “Sir Edward needs to check his facts. We are already delivering one of the key asks in his so called 'report' by reopening the former international platforms at Waterloo.

“As always, the Liberal Democrats will say anything for a headline; regardless of the reality and facts on the ground.”

Mr Grayling has been contacted for comment.