Harriet Harman MP for Camberwell & Peckham said: “I'm disappointed that the Secretary of State has refused our request to take personal responsibility for this. As Secretary of State he should call this in and take day to day responsibility. It’s a daily nightmare for passengers - it should be a daily responsibility for the Secretary of State. It’s not good enough to leave it to a junior minister. Network Rail and the train operators have passed the buck between themselves and they need to be brought in to have their heads banged together. Only when it’s dealt with at the highest level of government will there be any chance of the problems being resolved sooner rather than later. Passengers shouldn't have to put up with a further 18 months of this.
“We pressed the Secretary of State to ensure full compensation but were given no information about the plans they are considering. The current system of compensation is complex, time consuming and nowhere near adequate for what passengers have had to put up with. If the service is 50% down on what it should be, then a season ticket holder should automatically get a 50% refund for the lack of service, as well as additional compensation for the stress, inconvenience and extra expense. Many people have had higher costs as they've had to pay for alternative travel or more hours of childcare from being late home, or they've lost pay for missing time at work.
“The Government should have had a proper consultation with passengers about compensation to hear the full impact these service failures have had on people’s finances before they announce the compensation arrangements rather than just coming out with what we fear will be an inadequate announcement”.
Note to Editors:
This morning Harriet Harman, Tessa Jowell, Sadiq Khan, Jim Dowd and London Assembly Member Val Shawcross met the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, and Transport Minister Claire Perry, at the Department for Transport to demand the Government take immediate action to resolve the ongoing disruptions to train services and compensate passengers for the cost and inconvenience.