Munira Wilson, MP for Twickenham, welcomed today’s announcement of additional compensation for SWR passengers affected by 27 days of strikes over the recent holiday period. The decision follows a months-long campaign by Munira on behalf of passengers and local businesses affected by the strikes and consistently poor service.
Munira has been pressing government ministers on the issue since December and has been in contact with the Transport Secretary. Last week at a cross-party group meeting, Munira directly challenged SWR’s Managing Director, Mark Hopwood, on passenger compensation during strikes. She also pressed the company to reveal what compensation they had received for the strikes. In addition to a meeting later this week with Mr Hopwood, she has secured a meeting with the Minister of State for Rail.
Munira Wilson said:
“As one of my first priorities upon being elected, I started calling for compensation to SWR passengers for the atrocious disruption experienced through December and I welcome this announcement. However, the proposed payments are inadequate and unfair to those who rely on South Western Railway every day.
“What amounts to five days’ worth of travel costs just doesn’t cut it, especially if you hold an annual or monthly season ticket. And, once again, Hampton passengers will likely be short-changed because of the shamefully reduced service of only one train an hour which went only as far as Kingston. Even this minimal shuttle service was cancelled frequently.
“It’s too little too late for the thousands of commuters who suffered weeks of delays and cancellations. Compensation alone does not make up for the shocking level of service South Western Railway have provided since they took over the franchise. And it does nothing for small businesses operating out of stations, whose businesses were crippled through December.
“Terminating Northern’s franchise demonstrates that government can act. The Conservatives must do the same to South Western Railway. Passengers in London should have greater control over their rail services by bringing commuter routes into TFL’s remit.
“I will continue to fight for passengers who use our rail services and will hold Boris Johnson’s government to account on their poor oversight of our network. I will also hold SWR’s feet to the fire when I meet with their Managing Director later this week to explore further remedies.”
– from a Munira Wilson MP press release - 18 February 2020