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Commuter: we’ve been abandoned

PUBLISHED: 14:41 28 January 2009 | UPDATED: 16:04 25 August 2010

A FRUSTRATED commuter who was left abandoned on a train like a surplus puppy after Christmas has called for some compensation.

A FRUSTRATED commuter who was left abandoned on a train like a surplus puppy after Christmas has called for some compensation.

Belvedere councillor David Leaf complained that he was left hanging around waiting for or trapped on trains into work no fewer than three times this week.

Mr Leaf, who pays somewhere in the region of £1,270 a year for the pleasure of travelling with Southeastern Railway each morning was less than impressed.

Writing an e-mail titled URGENT to Southeastern's Public Relations whipping boy, presumably from his Blackberry, he wrote: "I am stuck on a train on the line that is by platform 6 at London Bride but has no platform the driver does not know what is happening and it seems as though we have all been abandoned!

"There is a heavily pregnant woman in my carriage who appears to be very uncomfortable."

Regular train commuters might scoff at Mr Leaf's reaction to his hour-long ordeal, but the Belvedere councillor isn't giving up.

The next day the hapless councillor was late again because of ice on the rails - the bane of winter - whilst Autumn sees leaves on the lines and Spring journeys will no doubt be delayed by lambs.

Then last Friday the problem was signal failure - and a bus crashing into a bridge!

Bizarrely the fiasco wasn't blamed on Erith and Thamesmead MP John Austin, who usually gets it in the neck from Mr Leaf, or even the government.

Instead Southeastern must pay, said the delayed councillor, who added: "Commuters should be offered substantial discounts on their fares for the delays they have faced."

We suggest you don't hold your breath, even if it's to avoid the stench of the armpit you've been squashed next to outside London Bridge for an hour. Southeastern didn't reply to Mr Leaf's email.

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