The commute into London has become too tortuous for one city lawyer that she has threatened legal action against Southern Rail after she claimed the constant travel disruption and chaos meant she was forced to quit her job at a top legal firm.
During a passenger protest at London Victoria railway station, Emma Greek told London tabloid, the Standard, that she resigned from her job because of "constant" delays to her journey home to Sussex.
"I would love to take legal action. There are the passenger charters and they definitely aren't meeting those but the terms and conditions will contain clauses that Southern can use to get out of the hassle when its strike related. So it would be extremely difficult," Greek said.
Passengers using Southern Railway Services between London and the south coast have endured months of disruption and delay due to industrial action leading to staff shortages.
The rail network has subsequently implemented an emergency timetable, canceling 350 services. Passengers already cramming into full carriages are now expected to pile into even more tightly packed trains — many paying US$5,200 dollars for the privilege — the cost of an annual season ticket.
Andy McDonald, Labour's minister for Transport also attended the protest in Victoria railway station and told the Standard that Southern was "failing in its duty to passengers."
"Clearly people are very angry about the service that has continued to deteriorate.," McDonald said, adding that passengers "have been pushed beyond tolerance levels."
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has also waded into the row and called for the operator of Southern Rail, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), services to be stripped of the franchise. Khan says he is appalled at the "unceasing misery" passengers are suffering on their daily commute to work and has urged the Department for Transport to take temporary responsibility for the franchise, nicknamed "Southern Fail" — rather than Southern Rail.
A Southern Rail spokesman apologized for the delays, blaming "unnecessary industrial action," by National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) members.
"We understand the strength of feeling amongst passengers, and their frustration at the poor service and increase in random cancellations since the dispute with the RMT began."
The day GTR introduced the amended timetable 15 percent of all services were canceled, many on the day and one in six trains ran late.