Fares, rail policy and DfT news

11.01.17

GTR apologises after Southern passengers wrongly denied compensation

Southern passengers’ compensation applications for widespread delays on the network have been held back by computer errors, the operator’s parent company has admitted.

Passengers told the Guardian that the company had rejected their compensation applications, submitted in November and December, and wrongly said they were too late because they were outside the 28-day limit.

One traveller, Carol Granere from Orkney, told the newspaper she made a delayed journey from Sandwich to Horsham on 1 November and submitted a claim on 16 November, but was told it was too late. She wrote back disputing the ruling, but received no response.

A GTR spokesperson said: “We apologise to any customers who received letters containing erroneous information.

“There was a short-term technical issue with our system shortly before Christmas, but some letters containing incorrect information were sent to customers. We will be contacting those who received incorrect letters.”

Southern has suffered increasingly frequent and severe delays since it was taken over by parent company GTR, and now has the worst PPM of any railway company in Britain.

In an effort to help the situation, the DfT introduced ‘Delay Repay 15’, where passengers are entitled to compensation after delays of 15 minutes instead of 30, on Southern from 11 December.

Delay Repay 15 be introduced on the rest of the network as part of promises to make it easier for passengers to claim compensation following a super-complaint from consumer rights group Which?

At the end of last year, the DfT also promised that Southern season ticket passengers would be able to claim the equivalent of a month’s worth of fares in compensation for the disruption.

Southern cancelled all trains today and yesterday, and will do the same on Friday, because of a strike by the Aslef drivers’ union in protest at the company’s roll-out of driver-only operation.

(Image c. Yui Mok from PA Wire and PA Images)

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