Train operator Southeastern has given 4,000 members of staff shopping vouchers to thank them for dealing with the ongoing chaos at London Bridge – but there is still no word on passenger compensation.
The employees were given £25 gift vouchers, which can be used at shops including Sainsbury's Boots and Mothercare, in response to the major disruptions caused by the station's £6.5bn renovation, according to Kent Online.
It has been reported that staff have had hot coffee thrown at them, been spat on and shouted out by irate commuters who have faced hours of misery as trains have been delayed, diverted or cancelled as a result of the works.
A Southeastern spokesman told Kent Online: “Each employee received one £25 voucher.
“That was a one-off token of appreciation . . . to reflect the commitment of staff in helping passengers and the hard work that has gone into delivering the large-scale changes in the new year.”
But the move has been criticised by passenger groups including the Sevenoaks Rail Travellers' Association and the Malling and District Rail Travellers' Association, which argue that passengers ought to receive compensation.
Meanwhile Southeastern commuters were left fuming once again this morning after seven separate failures caused travel chaos into London Bridge during rush hour.
Network Rail was forced to issue an apology for the “series of unrelated signal problems”, which it said were “a mixture of cable damage, component and asset failures”.
Network Rail’s route managing director for the South East, Alasdair Coates, said: “I apologise for what has been a very difficult journey to work for people this morning. We are investigating what on initial inspection appear to be several unrelated faults on the lines between Deptford, New Cross and London Bridge.
“Many of those faults were repaired before 8am but by that point the damage was done and trains were severely delayed as a result. We recognise the importance of this station to London and we will do everything we can to find out what went wrong.”