Thursday, 24 December 2009

Thameslink - news for passengers

The Hendon Times reports the positive outcome of my talks with First Capital Connect about Thameslink. As the paper says, the company informed me of a new plan to compensate passengers on its Thameslink route, which covers Hendon and Mill Hill Broadway stations.

Larry Heyman, a senior manager at First Capital Connect, told me that, in January, the company will inform regular passengers of how to claim a voucher equating to five days' free travel anywhere on First Capital Connect's network. The five-day travel vouchers will be available to holders of season tickets and weekly, monthly and annual travelcards. He also said that a normal service is expected to be resumed on Thameslink on Monday 18 January, assuming that Aslef members vote to accept First Capital Connect's latest offer.

I had arranged to meet Mr Heyman after local people had informed me of appalling problems using Thameslink. Thameslink passengers have suffered an emergency timetable (with only half the usual number of trains) since November, due to a dispute between First Capital Connect and trade union Aslef.

My talks with First Capital Connect were most constructive. This dispute has caused terrible inconvenience to Thameslink’s passengers. I shall continue to work with the company to ensure that it delivers on its promises. Mr Heyman pledged to write to me in detail after Christmas and has suggested meeting to review progress in the New Year. I am most grateful to him for his help with this matter.

Incidentally, passengers can already claim compensation if they are delayed for thirty minutes or more according to Thameslink’s regular timetable.

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