PRESS RELEASE FROM THE RT HON PETER LILLEY MP
Tuesday March 16th 2010
LILLEY PRESSES MINISTER ON TRAIN CHAOS COMPENSATION
Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, has been assured by a government minister that a new, more generous compensation scheme for First Capital Connect passengers affected by the winter disruption is being discussed.
He said: “I raised the compensation issue at a meeting the Transport Minister, Chris Mole, attended by MPs with an interest in Thameslink services.
“I impressed on him that there was a great deal of unhappiness with the present compensation arrangements. Many people find them complicated, difficult and off-putting.
“One of my constituents who buys a monthly season ticket from Harpenden to London complained that she had to provide the number of each ticket to make a valid claim.
“She, of course, had not kept them once they had expired. Who should she? What irked her was that FCC has the details of all her transactions on its computer system so there should be no need for her to produce the old tickets.
“The minister told me the new scheme under consideration would be more generous, more flexible, and most importantly, retrospective.
“I also asked him if it was possible to threaten to withdraw FCC’s contract in view of the appalling level of service offered by the company to its customers over many months.
“Mr Mole said while it was theoretically possible, he made it clear that the government intended to stick with the existing timetable, which involves a review of the contract in 2012 and a consideration of a renewal in 2014.
“He also said that despite the economic situation, the government thought there was a robust business case to go ahead with the late-running Thameslink 2000 project, which should bring long overdue improvements to one of the busiest stretches of railway in the country.”
Further information from John Allen