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Passengers in Roudham rail crash ‘disgusted’ after receiving £100 in expenses and vouchers from Greater Anglia

PUBLISHED: 08:33 16 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:17 16 April 2016

Thomas Tyler and Alice Willcox, passengers on the Greater Anglia train which collided with a tractor at Roudham.

Thomas Tyler and Alice Willcox, passengers on the Greater Anglia train which collided with a tractor at Roudham.

Archant

A couple who endured a seven-hour rail journey home after suffering serious injuries in a train crash say they are “disgusted” at the response from a rail operator after being given £100 in cash and rail vouchers in response.

Emergency and investigation teams at Roudham after a train hit a tractor on a level crossing and the passengers were led to safety down the tracks.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAYEmergency and investigation teams at Roudham after a train hit a tractor on a level crossing and the passengers were led to safety down the tracks. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Tom Tyler and Alice Willcox were travelling from Norwich back to their home in Eastbourne last Sunday when the 12.03 Abellio Greater Anglia service to Cambridge was involved in a collision with a tractor at Roudham.

Having been helped by emergency services, most of the 135 passengers were put on a train to Cambridge to continue their journey.

But Mr Tyler, 35, and Miss Willcox, 39 – who had suffered a fractured eye socket and bruised spleen respectively – said the journey soon turned into an ordeal.

Mr Tyler said: “There were so many people in shock having just been in a rail crash, and the last thing you wanted was to be put on another train. Then Abellio gave us a code, and told us to give it to people when we got on each train on our journey, so there would be no problems with our tickets.

The train crash at Roudham level crossing near Thetford.The train crash at Roudham level crossing near Thetford.

“Getting on at Cambridge was fine as we were with someone from Abellio, but after that we had to argue at every stop,” he said.

The ensuing seven-hour journey – which normally takes three – included the couple being allegedly sworn at by a member of staff at London Victoria, with another member of staff stepping in to mediate, and being refused the use of a rail replacement bus service.

The couple were forced to call an ambulance the following morning as Miss Willcox’s condition worsened.

Having complained to Abellio about their treatment, they yesterday received a letter from Abellio’s head of safety, Jay Thompson, which enclosed two £25 rail vouchers to use in the next year and a £50 cheque to cover their expenses for the delayed 
journey. Mr Tyler said he was “shocked” by the response.

“I can’t believe they sent us rail vouchers and no apology after we were in a serious crash like that.

“To be honest, I’m not sure I ever want to go on a train again, so the vouchers are useless.” he said.

A spokesman for Greater Anglia said: “Our colleagues have been widely praised for the actions they took and the overall handling of the incident on Sunday and we’re sorry that Mr Tyler and Miss Willcox have raised some subsequent concerns.

“We are in contact with all of the passengers who were on board the service and will continue to have a positive dialogue with them.”

A spokesman for Southern, which manages London Victoria station, apologised for the incident at the station.

He said: “We are sorry that our passengers received less than satisfactory customer service at Victoria station on Sunday.

“We are investigating exactly what happened, but at this stage, we think that our staff may not have been aware that the incident on the Greater Anglia train had occurred and that the passengers’ tickets were valid for a train other than the one originally booked.”

Were you a passenger on the train? Did you experience similar problems? Email andrew.fitchett@archant.co.uk

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