No reimbursement from water company over burst water main Croydon landslide
10:00am Thursday 1st September 2011 in Croydon Mudslide
Thames Water has yet to pay a penny in compensation after a burst water main caused a landslide onto railway tracks delaying thousands of passengers.
On August 1 rail travel between East Croydon station and London Victoria was paralysed as a landslide blocked the tracks affecting thousands of commuters and holiday makers heading for Gatwick Airport.
In a letter responding to the chairman of the London Assembly's Transport Committee Caroline Pidgeon, Thames Water Asset Manager Bob Collington said the company would pay no money to passengers, who should seek compensation from rail operators.
He states: “We are not liable for any costs that have been incurred. At this time I can do no more to assist with this matter other than to suggest that any claims for loss of rail services are directed to National Rail.”
National Rail is responsible for the rail network infrastructure, while Southern Rail is responsible for paying compensation to passengers if services are disrupted.
A spokesman for Network Rail confirmed a “seven figure sum” would be paid to Southern Rail following the landslide and they were seeking reimbursement from Thames Water.
He said: "We will be looking for recompense from Thames Water for the damage and inconvenience caused to the rail industry and its passengers."
Southern Rail spokesman added: “We compensate our passengers when their journey on Southern has been delayed by more than 30 minutes through our Delay Repay scheme.
“The incident at Croydon was treated like any other incident in that respect, but it is not possible to give the exact number of claims received as they are still coming in. However, it is currently in the thousands.”
A spokesman for Thames Water said: "The letter was referring to claims for compensation from rail passengers.
“These should be directed to the train operating companies.
"Investigations into the cause of the burst pipe continue. Network Rail has indicated that it is making a claim against us."
Ms Pidgeon, who is also leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly group, attacked Thames Water for their attitude.
She said: "Thames Water should stop playing legal games and accept that they were responsible for the havoc faced by thousands of passengers.
"Thames Water must offer compensation to Network Rail and the train operating companies. They in turn should offer compensation to their passengers who faced disruption and often personal cost when travelling on the 1st August."