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Compensation plea over train delays

Compensation is needed for passengers caught up in severe delays at one of the country's busiest train stations, the Rail Minister has said.

Claire Perry told MPs talks are also ongoing with the London Bridge station's management and Network Rail to ensure rebuilding work does not compromise passenger safety and comfort.

Ms Perry said it was not a matter of crowd control but passengers "trying to get home after a long day at work".

Thousands of travellers were left stranded at London Bridge on Tuesday when services ground to a halt during the evening rush hour, with the Rail, Maritime and Transport union warning the overcrowding resulted in "life-threatening chaos".

Labour's Louise Ellman, chairwoman of the Transport Select Committee, labelled the scenes at the South London station as "chaotic and dangerous" while Sir Nicholas Soames said "inexcusable delays" had been caused by Network Rail's " deplorable failure" and timetable failings.

Passengers were told there were signalling problems south of the station, with Network Rail saying the delays had been caused, in part, by a person being hit by a train.

Speaking in the Commons, Sir Nicholas ( Mid Sussex) told Ms Perry: "We all want to see improvements to these stations.

"But the fact is that the deplorable failure by Network Rail, in what is in any event a very complicated scheme, and the failure of the train operating companies to deliver new timetables within these constraints has led to inexcusable delays and inconvenience for my constituents.

"Will you consider giving all those people who have had to travel into London Bridge during this period a compensation on the cost of their tickets to reflect the very, very serious conditions that they've had to deal with?"

Ms Perry replied: "You like I are absolutely determined that this unprecedented investment is felt by passengers.

"The reason the Government is spending £38 billion is for passenger improvements and I completely agree what is required is a compensation scheme and that is something we are currently looking at."