ONE and a half million pounds in compensation has been paid out by a train operator after commuters suffered travel chaos due to landslips.
Southeastern trains made the awards following the closure of the Battle to Robertsbridge line due to repeated collapses at Whatlington.
Commuters faced extended journeys on the Hastings to London line as they dealt with replacement buses for two months while Network Rail engineers struggled to reopen the line.
The embankment supporting the line collapsed during the heavy rain which lashed the county at the start of the year.
Three serious landslips throughout the spring resulted in work being delayed and deadlines pushed back.
Buses replaced trains between Battle and Robertsbridge from January 30 until March 31 when the line reopened.
At a public meeting in Tunbridge Wells, Mike Gibson, public affairs manager at Southeastern, confirmed the company had awarded the £1.5 million figure.
Southeastern said the figure was ten times the usual amount which it pays out in compensation – having paid out only £150,000 during the same 16 week period in 2013.
A spokesman for Southeastern said: “We’ve paid out compensation to the tune of |£1.5 million in the first three months of this year to recompense customers for the disruption caused by the series of landslips on the Hastings line.
“This figure compares to a total of £150,000 in the same period of 2013.
“These payments represent record levels for the network and include claims made under the delay repay scheme, plus additional cash compensation arrangements that we put in place for the worst-affected passengers.”
If you were affected and wish to apply for compensation, visit www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/contact/delay-repay/.