Over 100 St Albans commuters vote in Facebook poll saying Government has not stood up for passengers

PUBLISHED: 10:49 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:49 27 September 2018

A Thameslink train at Potters Bar train station. Picture: DANNY LOO

A Thameslink train at Potters Bar train station. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Over 100 people in a St Albans commuters Facebook group believe the Government has failed to stand up for passengers.

In a poll on the St Albans Commuter & Passenger Action Group, run by Liberal Democrat Daisy Cooper, 135 people have voted for the statement: ‘The Government and our MP have failed to stand up for Thameslink passengers from St Albans.’

Commuters complained of delays, cancellations and overcrowding on Thameslink services following a botched timetable change in May.

Ms Cooper said: “People feel completely let down by the Government and they do not trust Thameslink to get the next timetable change right.”

She is unsurprised at peoples’ virulence, saying: “I am a commuter and I am angry as well. It seems like people have been working against the interests of passengers.

“Commuting is a key part of people’s lives and they base life decisions around that. When the trains go wrong, their entire lives are affected, so people are really angry their experiences have not been taken into account.”

St Albans MP Anne Main said: “My constituents have every right to be angry and I am appalled at the failure to implement the May timetable. I am grateful to the constituents who got in touch about their experiences and I continue to share these with the Transport Department (DfT) to ensure there is no doubt how unacceptable this disruption is to commuters in St Albans.”

Mrs Main will be meeting a transport minister and will press the point the final timetable must meet its deadline in December. She has requested commuters continue to get in touch with her office with their queries.

A DfT spokesperson said: “We recognise some Thameslink passengers experienced significant delays as a result of disruption caused by timetable changes earlier this year.

“Prof Stephen Glaister’s interim report sets out how a series of complex issues across the rail industry contributed to this. We welcome these findings and are working with the industry to ensure such disruption never happens again.

“We took immediate action to improve services and passenger information and establish industry-funded compensation schemes. We are monitoring closely for sustained improvements by GTR.

“We are also investigating whether GTR breached its contract and won’t hesitate to take tough action if it is found to have been at fault.”

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