Thousands suffered overcrowding and disruption on the trains as they tried to get away over the bank holiday weekend. What’s been your worst rail journey?
Rail passengers suffered “absolute chaos” on trains this weekend – planned engineering works disrupting services between London and Brighton as thousands flocked to the seaside town during the hot weather.
Overcrowding left thousands stuck at Gatwick Airport and Three Bridges on Saturday. Rail replacement buses were overwhelmed after Southern shut part of the line to carry out planned works.
People were left waiting for more than two hours to get on board a replacement bus, it was reported. Things were so bad that Southern Rail flat out advised people: “don’t travel to Brighton”.
Absolute chaos and fights @Gatwick_Airport trying to get rail replacement to Brighton @SouthernRailUK sort it out! A few workers trying to manage hundreds of people. My mum had to step in and help with crowd control 😡#dangerous #stampede #bankholidayweeked pic.twitter.com/9Njycms1ul
— A I M I E A (@Aimieatkinson) May 6, 2018
Southern defended itself saying when the engineering works were planned 6 months ago, “it was not anticipated for the sunny weather and high volume of passengers.”
What we’re doing about it
We were quick to act on Saturday, reminding stranded train travellers how to claim compensation from Southern.
If you’ve been caught up in the rail replacement chaos at #Gatwick Airport today, make sure you claim compensation.
Remember, it’s now easier to claim for consequential losses under the Consumer Rights Act. https://t.co/oqWKzK9tg6
— Which? Travel (@WhichTravel) May 6, 2018
And we’ve been campaigning over delayed, overpriced and downright lousy train services for years, lobbying the government and train companies to do a better job.
We want to see train companies treat passengers more fairly and improve compensation arrangements when there are delays. While passengers continue to struggle with a high number of delays, there are still some real issues for them being able to access the money they are owed.
Over 110,000 have signed our petition demanding better services. You can sign it here, if you haven’t already.
With more engineering works planned for the late May bank holiday, use our guide to get up to speed with what compensation you’re entitled to, if you do intend to travel.
I travelled down to Brighton myself on Saturday, but didn’t have to take a bus – Thameslink trains were running between Three Bridges and Brighton. But even then, the train was delayed and was extremely crowded and many elderly people and families were left without a seat.
The worst part? Tickets (on both Thameslink and Southern) were still being charged at full whack. It would have cost nearly £30 to get to Brighton with Southern despite the inconvenience of the rail replacement bus, which seems grossly unfair.
What’s the worst train journey you’ve ever taken in the UK? Was it delayed, overcrowded or perhaps both? And how do we make train companies do a better job?