No Let Up for First Capital Connect Commuters

PUBLISHED: 11:04 22 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:50 06 May 2010

MORE delays and cancellations this morning have caused misery for First Capital Connect (FCC) commuters already at breaking point. Further problems struck when an East Midlands train failed at West Hampstead and blocked the line, and there were also power

MORE delays and cancellations this morning have caused misery for First Capital Connect (FCC) commuters already at breaking point.

Further problems struck when an East Midlands train failed at West Hampstead and blocked the line, and there were also power problems near Bedford.

After the drivers dispute over pay was resolved last week, FCC vowed to get the service back on track at the start of this week with a few minor delays and shorter services due to trains being damaged by the adverse weather conditions earlier this month.

But those hoping for an easier journey into work this week were left bitterly disappointed.

Aside from this morning's delays, there were also problems earlier this week with power supplies through central London and a person being hit by a train in Leagrave.

Yesterday, the Herts Advertiser, reported that Transport Secretary Lord Andrew Adonis has given the beleaguered company until the weekend to improve before he considers all options available to him, including stripping the company of their franchise.

A spokesperson for FCC said this morning that this week's problems were down to other operators and Network Rail infrastructure, so were therefore out of the company's hands.

But he said FCC is continuing to work with the Department for Transport to get services back on track and insisted that 88 per cent of trains were arriving on time on Wednesday and Thursday.

This newspaper revealed last week the extent of a growing campaign for the franchise to be ended and a petition calling for the action has more than 4,000 signatures.

Months of delays caused by drivers refusing to work overtime or on rest days, and the recent sub-zero temperatures, have taken their toll on commuters.

Just one of the angry messages posted on the wall of Facebook group I Hate First Capital Connect this morning was from Robert Smith, who said: "Complaints against this incompetent company are almost too many to document. Here's my latest: I had a really important hospital appointment yesterday. The train from Mill Hill was only going to be 20 minutes late. I could still make it!

"The train didn't come at all and the ticket man told me it had broken down at Radlett. I had to spend £14 on a cab to Hampstead. Thank you to First Crapital Connect for letting me know. PS Under the Delay Compensation Scheme I am entitled to a £1 voucher so every cloud has a silver lining."

This week, the Herts Advertiser, launched ett. I had to spend £14 on a cab to Hampstead. Thank you to First CRapital Connect for letting me know!! PS Under the Delay Compensation cheme I am entitled to a £1 voucher so every cloud has a silver lining!!! its new Off the Rails initiative, campaigning on behalf of commuters fed up with continuous delays and cancellations.

As well as highlighting the ongoing problems, we will be holding FCC to account and have been promised an interview with new boss Neal Lawson.

Send any questions you would like us to put forward and your horror stories to hertsas@archant.co.uk

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Herts Advertiser