Our Bat & Ball correspondent, Keith Alderman, has now retired. However, when Thameslink allow him, he’s making good use of his Senior Railcard!
Delay Repay Claims: total 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019 inclusive = £151.51
(East Midlands Trains £5.36, Greater Anglia £8.90, Great Western Railway £3.55, Southeastern £42.10, Southern £2.00, South Western Railway £19.56, Thameslink £15.90, Virgin £53.63, West Midland Railway £0.51). One claim outstanding: Virgin have advised me that I am due £5.60 but I have not received the cheque which being overdue and chased on two occasions I do not think that I will now.
This month’s delays: total 121 minutes, Southeastern 117, Thameslink 4.
Wednesday 4 December – I am heading for the Round Chapel in Hackney today. At Bat & Ball station this morning a Christmas tree had been placed between the two platform seats near the café on platform two. I wanted to purchase an Off-Peak One Day Travelcard for my journey but the ticket machine and all information screens at Bat & Ball station were not working this morning. Accordingly, I travelled to Sevenoaks on the 09.52 which arrived there one minute early and then bought my ticket there. I had expected that this would have prevented me from travelling on the 09.59 service to Waterloo East, but this train was running two minutes late and I managed to board it. Arrival in London was eight minutes late. If this train was running to time buying my ticket at Sevenoaks would most likely have resulted in at least a fifteen minutes delay to my journey. I wonder if a delay due to a non-working ticket machine would be accepted as a valid reason for a Delay Repay claim? [No: “If you arrive 15 minutes or more late at your destination because of a delay or cancellation to a Southeastern service, you can claim Delay Repay compensation.” But you could claim other compensation under the Consumer Rights Act if you suffered a loss. – Ed]
Friday 6 December – My destination is Rainham (Kent) today. I commenced my journey on the 10.25 from Bat & Ball to Bromley South where the train arrived on time. I changed on to the late running 10.57 train which departed at 11.07. Arrival in Rainham was fifteen minutes late, A Delay Repay claim has been submitted. I noticed today that Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham stations have had “Medway” added to the station name signs. I intended to return from Rainham on the 14.37 service changing trains at Swanley on to a train for Bat & Ball. However, the 14.37 was running late and after Rochester it ran fast to Bromley South. Accordingly, the first service I could board to Bat & Ball was the 15.53 which arrived four minutes late. However, my journey was delayed by thirty-four minutes. Another Delay Repay claim submitted!
Thursday 12 December – I am heading for Oxford today. The 09.21 from Bat & Ball to Sevenoaks was on time. At Sevenoaks Southeastern were having problems, many cancellations and a lot of late running trains, blamed on ice on the conductor rail. The 09.29 from Sevenoaks to London Bridge was cancelled, service terminated at Tonbridge running one hundred and twenty-seven minutes late! Accordingly, I travelled to London Bridge on the late running 09.43 service where it arrived at 10.18, eleven minutes late, but my journey was delayed by twenty-five minutes. The first Delay Repay claim of the day! I quickly transferred to Paddington using the Jubilee and Bakerloo underground lines. My train to Oxford was due to depart at 10.50, I boarded it with four minutes to spare and discovered that the seat reservations had not been displayed. They did appear two minutes before departure, but the chaos had been caused. My seat was occupied by an elderly lady but fortunately there were spare seats available.
I was due to return to Paddington on the 15.31 service, but this was cancelled after I had boarded it due to a fatality at Maidenhead. Accordingly, passengers for London were transferred to the 15.43 Chiltern service to Marylebone. This train arrived three minutes early, but my journey was delayed by eighteen minutes. The second Delay Repay claim of the day!
I used the Bakerloo line to transfer to Charing Cross and boarded the 17.11 service to Sevenoaks. This train was six minutes late arriving, just in time to see the 17.52 to Bat & Ball depart, (dispatched twenty seconds early). Accordingly, I was delayed by thirty minutes because I had to wait for the (on time) 18.22 service to Bat & Ball. The third Delay Repay claim of the day!!
I used Advance Single tickets between Paddington and Oxford in both directions costing £3.55 for each journey, (127 miles return journey). An Off-Peak One Day Travelcard costing £11.20 was required from Bat & Ball to Paddington and return.
Thursday 12 December – There are still two lights not working on the footbridge at Bat & Ball station. This was first reported to Southeastern in September!
Thursday 19 December – I am heading for Dartford today. Surprisingly, National Rail Enquiries suggested that I should change trains at Waterloo East when making this journey. I cannot see any benefit in doing so because all trains stop at London Bridge giving a longer connection time, and there is no need to walk up and down the long ramps to change between platforms at Waterloo East. Is it because London Bridge is becoming too busy and it is an attempt to move some passengers that need to change between trains to Waterloo East because it is not as busy there?
On arrival at Bat & Ball station I noticed that the Christmas tree had disappeared.
Tuesday 24 December – A short journey to Tonbridge today, the 10.51 from Bat & Ball arrived at Sevenoaks on time which was useful because the ticket machine was not working at Bat & Ball therefore, I needed to buy a ticket at Sevenoaks. I reported the faulty ticket machine and was advised that there is currently no power to the machine and it is likely to be out of use for some time because underground cable work is required to fix it.