Learning the lessons from Lewisham winter incident

23 August 2018

Commenting on the findings of an investigation into the 2 March Lewisham incident published today Anthony Smith, chief executive of independent transport user watchdog Transport Focus said:

“We welcome this review into the serious incident on 2 March outside Lewisham during serious winter weather that led passengers to get off stranded trains onto the track rather than wait until help arrived.

“Many passengers experienced extremely uncomfortable conditions, became frustrated and took matters into their own hands. The report makes plain that as the incident unfolded information for passengers was often misleading and insufficient enough to tell people how long their train was likely to remain stationary or what actions were being taken to resolve the situation.

“Lessons must be learned and acted upon – across all parts of the rail industry – to ensure incidents of this scale are better managed in the future.

“Southeastern and Network Rail have assured us that with respect to all of the report findings and recommendations they are developing action plans that will address all key areas.”


On the evening of 2 March 2018, the end of a challenging week for rail and other transport networks due to severe cold weather, nine Southeastern trains carrying several thousand passengers became stranded away from the platforms between Lewisham and North Kent East Junction, most for over four hours, with many passengers self- evacuating on to the track.

With respect to the impact of the so-called ‘Beast from the East’ and Storm Emma in March 2018 Transport Focus reviewed the standard of passenger information online, focusing in particular on Friday 2 March. It has previously published a report of its own findings including a number of recommendations to the rail industry about how things could be improved next time there is widespread disruption to services.

For further information please contact Kieran Watkins, Senior communications officer

Tel: 0300 123 0836 or e-mail: kieran.watkins@transportfocus.org.uk

Transport Focus is the independent consumer organisation representing the interests of:

  • rail passengers in Great Britain
  • bus, coach and tram users across England outside London
  • all users of England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads (the Strategic Road Network).

We work to make a difference for all transport users.







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