Vince Cable, MP for Twickenham, has backed the calls for commuters to get a better deal during the three and half week upgrade work to Waterloo train station taking place this month.
Starting from the 5th August no less than 10 platforms – half the station – will be closed until Monday 28th August.
During the upgrade work South West Trains have said they will only pay compensation to train users under the standard arrangements for compensation for excessively late trains that occurs to their much reduced service.
Commenting on the situation facing commuters from Twickenham and South West London Vince Cable said:
“I accept that these works are necessary, indeed it is vital that longer carriage trains can access Waterloo Station to help address the current levels of overcrowding.
“And as the work cannot be permanently avoided choosing to do these works during August also has some merit, as for some people it is time when they are taking some holiday leave.
“However I received two specific complaints from constituents which South West Trains need to urgently address. Firstly, some of the pain facing commuters could be reduced if 1st class seats were declassified during this period. There is nothing more galling for commuters who are crushed in like cattle on overcrowded train carriages to see empty seats in the first class section of a train. In the longer term I think consideration should also be given to completely phasing out 1st class seats on our local train services.
“South West Trains also need to reconsider their overall compensation arrangements. The first notice any commuters ever had of the disruption facing Waterloo Station was in January of this year. There are many commuters who bought an expensive yearly season this time last year who quite understandably felt they were getting a full year of train travel. These people feel they have been cheated. It is time South West Trains addressed this issue and started to provide exceptional compensation for yearly season ticket holders.”
“I am taking up both these issues with South West Trains.”
— from a Vince Cable press release