Southern Rail apologises for child stranded at platform

Christopher Prior and Tanja Kleinemeier. Picture: Derek Martin

Christopher Prior and Tanja Kleinemeier. Picture: Derek Martin

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Southern Rail has apologised after a conductor left a boy stranded on a railway platform.

Christopher Prior, 39, his girlfriend Tanja Kleinemeier, 42, and his brother Darron Prior, 47, wanted to get a train from Arundel to Christopher’s home near East Worthing railway station on July 31.

He was right at the door when it moved off, so it was probable that he could’ve fallen under

Christopher Prior

But due to cancellations by Southern Rail they had to cycle to Ford station and caught the 3.36pm train.

Tanja’s son Bradley Leggatt, 11, who lives with his mother in Durrington, joined them at Goring station.

As they arrived at East Worthing station, Christopher said they could not get off because ‘someone had blocked their bikes in’.

He added that Bradley managed to get off but the conductor closed the doors before he and his girlfriend could get out, and then signalled for the train to leave despite Bradley being stood on the platform banging on the doors.

He said that Bradley ‘was in tears’ as the train pulled away: “He was right at the door when it moved off, so it was probable that he could’ve fallen under. The guard isn’t supposed to move the train off until people are back behind the line I believe.”

Christopher, his girlfriend and Darron had to get off at Lancing, and as there wasn’t another train back for more than an hour they had to cycle back to East Worthing station. Christopher’s mother Una Goff met Bradley at East Worthing station.

Darron confronted the conductor at Lancing station. He said he refused to give his name and that he ‘didn’t see’ Bradley. Christopher said: “He said he looked up and down the station platform but he couldn’t have because it isn’t that big. It’s probably about four or five carriages long. You can’t miss a boy smacking on a train door.

“There needs to be better training for staff, especially with customer relations. To brush off what happened was really bad.”

A spokesperson for Govia Thameslink Railway, which runs Southern Rail, said: “I can confirm that we have been in contact with the family and apologised to them, including Bradley, and offered them £50 in goodwill vouchers. We’ve spoken with the conductor in order to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

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