First Capital Connect: rebellious passengers win people power victory

PUBLISHED: 14:42 26 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:56 06 May 2010

FIRST CAPITAL Connect passengers won a decisive victory for people power after refusing to get off a cancelled train. Earlier problems with a Bedford to Sutton train at Farringdon had a knock-on effect on trains into London at around 8am, with FCC decidin

FIRST CAPITAL Connect passengers won a decisive victory for people power after refusing to get off a cancelled train.

Earlier problems with a Bedford to Sutton train at Farringdon had a knock-on effect on trains into London at around 8am, with FCC deciding to cancel one service at Cricklewood.

But after a half an hour stand off which saw up to 20 passengers refusing to disembark, FCC was forced to put the train back in service.

Commuter Katie Lee told Facebook group I Hate First Capital Connect: "I didn't see any other staff, nor did I see anyone shouting. The driver did get a bit irritated at one point, but he was trying to deal with a difficult situation. From what I saw, it was all extremely good natured and when we DID drive off, the driver even made a point of saying that customer action worked."

Commuter David Felcser said: "I was on this train, but standing around like a lemon in the cold was not for me, therefore I decided to walk to Kilburn and jump on the Jubilee line. I'm glad I did but then I wish I saw the battle that was commuter vs FCC as I have had enough of the service, if you can call it that, they have provided over the last few months!

Portfolio Holder for community engagement and support at the district council Cllr Anthony Rowlands described the situation at St Albans station as "monumentally chaotic" and added: "Yet again we are hit with massive delays - I'm starting to think it would be quicker to walk to London!"

A spokesperson for FCC said: "We made a very difficult operational decision to terminate a southbound train at Cricklewood due to disruption further ahead on the route at Blackfriars.

"The driver made the announcement and nearly all the customers alighted. Approximately twenty passengers did not get off the train despite the driver asking many times. The line reopened at Blackfriars and we had to run the train from Cricklewood into London. This caused more delays to services and the return journey of this train had to be cancelled.

"We transport thousands of people into London every morning and when there is major disruption, we have to make decisions that benefit the majority. Any decision is about getting as many people into London as quickly as possible when we have a serious delay such as this."

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