Passengers stranded on platform as three trains cancelled in a row

Passengers stranded on platform as three trains cancelled in a row

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Call for customers to show a united front in complaint

Sarah Saunders

A woman who had to cancel engagements in London after three consecutive trains were cancelled is urging passengers to speak out on poor service.

Sarah Saunders, founder of the Women’s International Cigar Club, had intended to travel to the capital for meetings and a cigar club Christmas jazz night last Wednesday, December 16.

But she had to cancel her plans as she was left waiting on the platform at Tunbridge Wells.

She said: “Three consecutive trains to London were cancelled, and I had to cancel my meetings as a result.

“I was so angry, as it’s a very stressful time of year anyway and you just want things to run smoothly.

“I was told by station staff that the reason for the cancellations was a lack of guards, and I just thought that was pathetic.

“It’s a huge organisation and they haven’t got someone to walk up and down the train.”

Data acquired by the Times reveals that in the 100 days prior to the time of writing, more than 300 services between Tunbridge Wells and London were cancelled.

Rather than suffer in silence, Mrs Saunders is urging others to speak up in the hope a united voice might persuade Southeastern to improve its service.

She said: “This isn’t about me. It’s not a ‘rant from Rusthall’. This is me saying if you care as much as I do, if you think that this isn’t right, then say something.

“There were lots of other people on the platform. What I’d be interested to know is if anyone complained?

“I want to encourage people to be more vociferous. Don’t be complacent. Don’t be resigned.

“Everyone needs to make their opinions known, not just stand on a platform being cold and grumpy.”

Mrs Saunders is so dismayed by her experience she is arranging for her cigar club to meet in Tunbridge Wells in future so local members do not have to travel by train to London.

A Southeastern spokesman said: “Sorry to any passengers affected by delays on the Hastings route on Wednesday December 16. This was down to displacement of crew in the area.