James Brokenshire has expressed his concern and need for urgent action to be taken over the Bexleyheath Line suspension which is expected to be closed until the weekend due to a landslip at Barnehurst.
This is the fourth landslip at Barnehurst in recent years which has caused significant disruption to local rail services and passengers. James Brokenshire has contacted both Network Rail and Southeastern to outline the urgent need for steps to be taken to restore services at the earliest opportunity, asking specifically about the resources being deployed, the nature of works required and current expectations for completion. James Brokenshire has also asked about compensation available to passengers who have been affected by this disruption.
Network Rail have since advised that they have cleared a large amount of the debris from the embankment and work is now taking place on the embankment which will be followed by reinforcement work. In terms of a long term solution, they have advised that they have remedial works planned so they will be able to fix the problem proactively and permanently.
Southeastern have also advised that passengers who normally use the stations on the Bexleyheath Line will be eligible for double-rate delay repay compensation via a compensation claim. Additionally, on the other lines nearby which have been busier as a result of Bexleyheath line passengers using these services, they will be handing out free coffee vouchers to users of these stations.
Commenting on the disruption, James said:
“I have spoken to senior managers at Network Rail to underline the urgent need to ensure services are restored at the earliest opportunity and to put in place effective permanent works to prevent this from happening again. For this to have occurred four times over the last number of years is completely unacceptable.”