No refund for crash victim as didn’t reach destination

    Train Accident

    A man from Tunbridge Wells who was involved in a train crash last month received just £4 in refunds because he ‘failed to reach his destination’.

    Wil Kitcher, 36, was travelling in the front carriage of the Norwich to Cambridge service when it struck a tractor crossing the tracks.

    The accident took place at an unmanned level crossing at Roudham, Norfolk at 12.30pm on Sunday April 10. A trailer attached to the farm vehicle tore holes in the front and side of the train.

    After being treated by emergency crews for whiplash he attempted to continue his journey on a replacement train. But he was so traumatised by the incident that he got off at neighbouring Thetford.

    Having taken some time to recover from the shock, Mr Kitcher contacted the operator, Abellio Greater Anglia, three days later to ask for a refund on his £51 ticket.

    But Abellio were only prepared to offer him £4 because he failed to reach his destination.

    “At the time I didn’t care because I was just happy to be safe,” said Mr Kitcher. “When it happened there was genuinely a moment when I thought I might die. When I phoned Abellio there was no apology. They told me that because I’d got off at Thetford they had to refund me to that point.

    “They offered me £4. It was an insult and I didn’t take it on principle.”

    There were 135 passengers on the train. Seven of them and the driver were treated for minor injuries. The tractor driver was airlifted to hospital in a more serious condition. The train had been travelling at 84mph.

    The farm worker had permission to cross the track, according to the Rail Accident Investigation Branch. Red and green lights were installed in 2012 but were not in operation.

    The barriers are operated by the public after they contact a signalling office in Cambridge by a designated telephone service.

    After being contacted by the Times, Abellio denied that they had offered Mr Kitcher £4 in compensation, but would be sending him a cheque for £50 to cover expenses and £50 of rail vouchers as a gesture of goodwill.