Should South West Trains licence be removed

10 years ago...

I have just returned from another fight with South West Trains. The London to Surbiton commute took 2 hours rather than the advertised 20 minutes.

Tonight's excuse? A broken rail outside Waterloo. I realise that SWT are (conveniently) not directly responsible for this and they can blame Network Rail, but the response as usual is shocking.

One broken rail leads to 4 platforms out of use, 4 platforms out of use leads to virtually no trains out of Waterloo at all! Even though 4 platforms is only 20% of the total at Waterloo, there was no way they were running anything like 80% of their services tonight - more like 10%.

The worst thing is that it all ends with the standard response that no repair will be attempted until 'close of service tonight'. It just cannot take that long to repair one piece of track or there is no way we would have been able to build the network in the first place.

As usual, a lazy response to a minor incident from SWT and yet there is not even any talk of their licence being removed!


Just to add that they are at it again today. This time it is a broken down train (no one else to blame there!) causing disruption first until 12.30, now until 13.30. We will see if it is straight by the time rush hour comes tonight.

Once again it is the response that annoys me. With the age/state of their rolling stock, I am surprised we do not get more broken down that we do now, but how can it take hours to fix them each time and then further hours to recover the service?

The answer is of course that they are running a bare bones service that offers no answer if anything goes wrong.

The problem is I don't see how we can punish SWT (or their replacements) because by fining them, we are effectively only fining ourselves as taxpayers when we have to pay more subsidy!

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