Police called to control rush hour 'chaos' at London Bridge

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Network Rail delays
Network Rail delays

Police were called to the packed railway station in South London last night (Tuesday) after thousands of passengers were left stranded when services ground to a halt during the rush hour.

Unions and politicians have called for urgent action to avoid a repeat of "life threatening chaos" at London Bridge Station.

Passengers facing delays were told there were signalling problems south of the station, with Network Rail saying the delays had been caused, in part, by a person being hit by a train. Words: PA

Labour said there needed to be a "very frank discussion" with rail bosses about why rail services have been "consistently underperforming" while passengers are charged "extortionate" fares.

Mick Cash, leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union said last night's scenes were "horrific", adding: "RMT is sick and tired of the excuses about the continuing chaos at London Bridge which led to horrific scenes at the station last night.

"The fragmentation and privatisation of our railways leaves train companies and Network Rail blaming each other while passengers and staff are left caught in the kind of life threatening chaos we have seen in pictures from one of London's major rail terminals last night.

"Those pictures shame our railways and it is about time those in control, including the Government, started to take some responsibility.

"The bottom line is that we are trying to cram more and more passengers into a transport system which is already at bursting point and where the pressure is on to cut more corners and axe more staff in the drive for profit.

"It doesn't take a genius to work out that that the poisonous cocktail of surging demand against a background of cuts leads to the kind of horrendous meltdown played out at London Bridge in yesterday's evening rush hour."

Val Shawcross, Labour's transport spokeswoman at the London Assembly said: "It is simply not acceptable for the Government to sit idly by whilst commuters, some paying thousands of pounds each year in ticket costs, are left stranded on dangerously crowded platforms, unable to get home.

"Why is the Secretary of State not here talking to passengers, talking to staff, and putting some support in place for Network Rail and Southern Rail who are clearly struggling to cope?

"There needs to be a very frank discussion with rail bosses about why the rail service has been consistently underperforming while passengers are charged extortionate amounts for the privilege of using a poor service. We also need swift action from the Government to deliver the reliable rail network that was promised earlier this year and that we've yet to see."

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