Man stuck in lift at Banbury Station is offered compensation

Trevor Kempsell, pictured on the beach at home in Florida
Trevor Kempsell, pictured on the beach at home in Florida

Chiltern Railways has offered an apology and a £100 payment to a grandad who was stuck in a lift for nearly two hours at Banbury Station.

The rail company is going to investigate the reasons for the lift breakdown.

Trevor Kempsell spent nearly two hours in the lift, suspended above the platform, at Banbury Station on Sunday. He was at the start of a journey back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after a visit to his son, Sam, and family in Longford Park.

After nearly two hours of being told repeatedly over the emergency message system that an engineer would be there in 15 minutes, Mr Kempsell called his son in desperation when he began to panic.

Son Sam went immediately down to the station and was also told an engineer was on his way. Heaing how distressed his father was, he called the fire service.

"My Dad is recovering from cancer and he was feeling scared. He had been left alone in the lift which was suspended above ground," said Mr Kempsell.

"There were three staff sitting in a room and they told me the same thing - they had told my father every quarter of an hour from the beginning that someone would be there to fix the lift in 15 minutes. I was able to at least stand near my Dad to talk to him.

"When the fire service got there they asked the Chiltern staff why they had not called them as they hold a key for the station's lifts. Chiltern staff told the fire officer it wasn't their policy. But if they had called, my father could have been let out very quickly."

A spokesman for Chiltern Railways said: “Chiltern Railways would like to apologise to Mr Kempsell and his son for their experience at Banbury station. We act as quickly as possible in circumstances like these and our staff followed the correct procedure. When a lift suffers a mechanical breakdown our staff our trained to call for an engineer to resolve the issue and only call the fire service if it is an emergency.

“Such events are rare but usually an engineer is able to attend within forty-five minutes at all of our stations. In this instance, the response time fell below our expectations and we are working with our infrastructure partners to understand the reasons for this and ensure it is improved for the future.”

"In addition, we are offering Mr Kempsell £100 in compensation as a gesture for the inconvenience."