PRESS RELEASE FROM THE RT HON PETER LILLEY MP
Tuesday November 17th 2009
LILLEY SPEAKS UP FOR HARD PRESSED TRAIN PASSENGERS
Hitchin and Harpenden MP Peter Lilley challenged the Transport Minister in Parliament about whether his constituents would be entitled to compensation for disruption of First Capital Connect train services and whether legal action could be taken to prevent coordinated action taken by militants to prevent trains running.
He congratulated Anne Main, the member for St Albans, on succeeding in persuading the Speaker to grant an emergency debate on her question [a rare event for a constituency issue like this], saying “my constituents will be as grateful as her own for forcing the minister to answer MPs’ questions”.
Peter Lilley said: “My constituents have been flooding me with emails complaining about not only cancellations but short trains, overcrowding and poor communication by the company.”
“Many of them are spending more that £3000 a year on season tickets and they want to know whether they will get any reimbursement for the failure to deliver the services for which they have paid.”
Taking up the Minister’s admission that “these actions [causing the disruption] appear to be co-ordinated”, Peter Lilley asked “whether such actions are, thus, outside the law? Does that mean that the company can take action against the unions, or do the Government propose to do so?”
In reply, the transport minister, Chris Mole, said “Reimbursement is a matter for the company–as, indeed, is judging whether the co-ordinated action is anything more than just that.”
Speaking later in his constituency Peter Lilley described the Minister’s response as “limp wrested and lacking in any recognition of the anger passengers feel about their journeys being made a misery.”
Further information from John Allen