MP: Train company's £2m fine over London Bridge disruption 'is no help to passengers'
PUBLISHED: 10:41 17 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:41 17 August 2015
Network Rail fined £2 million
A Bromley MP has criticised the £2 million fine given to Network Rail over the chaos at London Bridge – saying it doesn’t compensate commuters for the disruption they’ve endured.
The Office of Rail and Road, which regulates Britain’s railways, said the impact of the work at the station had been “significantly underestimated” and that there had been a lack of planning.
The firm’s performance on Southern and Govia Thameslink Railway lines was also “below expectations” and missed punctuality targets over the past year, the regulator said.
“Our investigation has identified important issues that Network Rail, working with operators, needs to address to improve performance for passengers on these routes,” chief executive Richard Price said.
The regulator is proposing a £2 million fine for the company.
Penge MP Jim Dowd said: “It is unfortunate that the fine will be little consolation to those commuters who experienced the fiasco first-hand.
“For many, the endless delays, repeated cancellations and unnecessary disruption brought misery to their daily commute.
“It is disappointing that the fine, a relatively small amount to an organisation the size of Network Rail, fails to provide passengers with the compensation they deserve for the abysmal service they endured throughout the first half of this year.
“There remains a pressing need for a comprehensive and straightforward scheme to compensate those commuters who have had their lives so seriously disrupted.”
He says the problems should have been resolved far earlier than they were.
“It is telling that these issues were only rectified through the introduction of a new timetable in May - more than five months after the disruption began,” Mr Dowd added.
“I raised the matter with the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, yet the response from both the Government and Network Rail was pitifully slow.”
Network Rail managing director Phil Hufton said: “At the start of this year we had a number of problems that caused passengers disruption and frustration and we apologise for this.”