20th Nov 2018
Rail passengers faced disruption throughout Monday, as overrunning Network Rail engineering works plunged South Western Railway services into chaos.
Services to and from London Waterloo – the UK’s busiest station – were out of action until 10am, with commuters facing further delays as delays and cancellations continued on into the evening.
Rush hour passengers were initially advised not to travel. At 10:45am 269 South Western trains were cancelled or delayed by more than 30 minutes, a figure that amounted for around 75% of all services.
Southern services between East Croydon and Victoria were also affected. Frustrated passengers took to social media to vent their grievances and criticise South Western.
Network Rail apologised for the disruption and said that it was down to overnight engineering work near Hampton Court overrunning.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “The disruption is unacceptable, and we are seeking an urgent explanation from Network Rail as to why their engineering works have overrun.”
Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, commented: “While customers understand planned engineering works are part and parcel of living and working in busy cities, Monday morning delays have a huge impact on working lives, and the UK’s productivity. Our most recent UK Customer Satisfaction Index reveals customer satisfaction with the transport sector has hit an all-time low, and the sector figure is being dragged down by rail providers.”
She continued: “Pressure on the transport system shows no signs of slowing down, and cracks will only widen if they aren’t addressed now. Rebuilding diminished levels of customer trust must be central to boardroom strategy, where organisations would be wise to recognise that great customer service begins long before the behaviour of front-line staff.”