WATERLOO DEBACLE – no compensation for delayed passengers


RAIL union RMT yesterday slammed the government and private rail companies after it emerged that passengers facing delays and cancellations – because of the planned huge refurbishment at London’s Waterloo station – will not get compensation.

More than half of Waterloo station will be closed down over the summer, bringing delays and disruption for passengers. From 5th to 28th August 2017, platforms 1-10 will be closed in order to extend platforms 1-4.

This will lead to a temporary reduction in capacity and an amended, reduced timetable will operate.

Fewer South West Trains services will run while work starts to extend the platforms. The director of monitoring group Transport Focus, David Sidebottom, said: ‘Current season ticket holders receive no compensation and other passengers will have to be an hour late to qualify.’

RMT assistant general secretary Steve Hedley told News Line yesterday: ‘It’s disgraceful, we have yet another case of passengers being inconvenienced and fleeced. If we had a renationalised railway we would plan things out in a more rational way.’

Asked about the union’s fight to keep the guard on the train and protect safety at Southern rail, Hedley added: ‘We are carrying on our fight at Southern. We are having a meeting with (Transport Secretary Chris) Grayling this week and depending what comes out of that we may call further strike action.’

Meanwhile, consumer group Which? yesterday responded to the Rail Delivery Group’s announcement of a rail ombudsman. Alex Hayman, Which? Managing Director of Public Markets, said: ‘Thousands of rail passengers feel let down and ignored by train providers when things go wrong, so it’s no surprise that consumer trust remains stubbornly low in this industry.

‘Government must introduce an ombudsman that all operators must join. Only then will they be able to begin to restore trust and ensure that passengers get a much better standard of service.’