Cranky commuters and cancellations have led to Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond calling for accountability from Network Rail over train delays that have left passengers frustrated since Christmas.
Signal failures and operational issues across south west London have been taking their toll, with passengers suffering from late arrivals as well as cancellations.
But Mr Hammond believes the responsibility for the problems should go beyond the train operators.
“I think a lot of people don’t realise that the real problems are with Network Rail and what they are providing for the train operators such as South West Trains,” he said.
“The big delays are caused by signal failure, which is Network Rail, who don’t seem to understand that they have a responsibility when you or I travel on the train.”
Mr Hammond also believes improvements are needed at stations within the area, even before the much-expected Crossrail 2 becomes operational close to 2030.
He said: “I would like to some upgrades to Wimbledon station, as well as Waterloo, and for there to be longer trains.
“Wimbledon is a well-connected place, but we have to make that more effective.
“Crossrail 2 will increase that connection but that’s a long way off at present. Some of the delays are just not good enough.”
Passengers have also voiced their concerns over the service with Anna Evans, of Raynes Park, experiencing delays getting to and from Waterloo.
She said: “I just can’t believe how many issues there have been, it really is staggering.
“Fortunately I’m not under many time constraints when travelling, but for those who rely on the trains for work it’s quite concerning.”
Andrew Carver, of Kingston Road, Wimbledon, said that while there were delays, the pressure on the train system is undoubtedly going to cause issues.
“It’s frustrating at times, yes, but we have to make do with the fact that sometimes it is down to problems not the fault of the operator,” he said.
“I’ve noticed more people at stations such as Wimbledon and Vauxhall since New Year, so that extra demand is going to have a knock-on effect somewhere along the line.”
Picture courtesy of Highways England Company Ltd, with thanks