Southeastern receives more than 8,800 compensation claims for Monday's 'horrendous' delays (From News Shopper)
Get involved: Send pictures, video, news and views - text NEWS SHOPPER to 80360 or email us
Southeastern receives more than 8,800 compensation claims for Monday's 'horrendous' delays
SOUTHEASTERN received more than 8,800 claims for compensation for the "horrendous" delays suffered by commuters on Monday (Oct 21) alone.
Dartford MP Gareth Johnson met with Southeastern’s managing director Charles Horton and John Macquarrie from the Department for Transport yesterday to demand that services improve.
Over-running engineering works caused widespread delays and cancellations on all services via London Bridge on October 21 and 22 causing significant overcrowding.
Mr Johnson said the problem was the lack of sufficient information from Southeastern which prevented commuters from making the best decisions about their travel plans.
He said: "As a commuter myself, I know that sometimes services do not operate as they should but there is no excuse for poor communication and a level of service that was deplorable."
Southeastern conceded during the meeting that the last two weeks had seen some of the highest levels of service disruption for years.
Mr Johnson added: "I challenged them on why, even when they knew there was an overun, they were not giving passengers the correct information on the platforms.
"Engineering works may be Network Rail’s responsibility but communicating with passengers is very much down to Southeastern.
"Trains in Dartford were being allowed to depart knowing full well they were heading for a log-jam further down the line into London, leaving passengers sat on the line for over an hour.
"It is simply not an acceptable level of service."
In a letter, Southeastern's public affairs manager Mike Gibson said: "On behalf of Southeastern, please accept my apologies for the disruption to services this morning (Oct 21).
"This was due to over running Network Rail engineering work between New Cross and London Bridge which, compounded by failure to Network Rail signalling systems, affected many of our services into London and caused severe disruption and diversions."
A spokesman for Network Rail said: "We apologise to passengers for Monday and Tuesday’s delays caused by overrunning engineering works.
"Despite a detailed timetable of work to hand back on time on Monday, a mechanical failure and unforeseen challenges to complete the maintenance meant this wasn’t possible.
"We will assess what lessons can be learnt from this incident to help us improve our work in the future and again apologise to passengers for the inconvenience caused."
Mr Johnson took the opportunity to speak about other issues, including this year’s winter contingency plans, the cost of parking at Ebbsleet station, services to Longfield, faster services to Dartford and having the opportunity for Dartford to use the Oyster Card.
He said: "I’ve had enough of poor service and a lack of joined up ticketing for commuters. We have a situation where commuters cannot use their Oyster and there is no other scheme on offer from Southeastern at present that can use the technology we know exists to help customers save money and allows them a more joined up service with London.
"I want to see all of this change."
He added: "Assurances from Southeastern are not sufficient in themselves we will be judge them on their actual performance."
If your journey was delayed by more than 30 minutes, make a claim for compensation by visiting the Southeastern website.
- What's the right way to hang a toilet roll? Should flap be under or over, in our out?
- 10 facts about the Great Smog of London in 1952
- UPDATE: Lee Rigby Woolwich murder accused was 'soldier of Allah'
- Bexley police target burglars in run up to Christmas
- Wanted Wednesday - Help Lewisham police find their four most wanted men
Comments are closed on this article.