HS2

01.10.18

Almost a third of passengers fail to claim rail compensation because it was not worth hassle

Almost a third of passengers fail to claim compensation for rail delays because it was not worth the effort for the amount they would get back, a new report has found.

A massive 31% of passengers who were aware of their eligibility for compensation primarily did not claim because of the effort to recuperate the repayments, prompting concerns around the delay compensation system on the rail networks.

Unsurprisingly, it was found that ticket price and length of delay had the biggest impact on the decision of passengers to claim for compensation. However it was also found that the process for applying for compensation had improved dramatically, with a 30% increase in satisfaction of the form in which claimants received their compensation since 2016, and a 15% increase in the value of compensation received.

And, even more concerning, almost half of passengers (46%) who were travelling on a ticket that cost lower than £5 did not do so because it was not worth the hassle of getting the money back.

The findings, laid out in a government-commissioned report and led by independent passenger watchdog Transport Focus, noted that 41% of passengers had experienced a delay that was eligible for compensation in the past six months; an increase of 4% on the 2016 total.

The report comes at a time when transport secretary Chris Grayling announced new rules making it easier to claim compensation for delays and disruption with the introduction of a ‘one-click’ automated claims system through smartphones and smartcard registration.

The DfT hopes the new claims system will allow passengers to more efficiently and regularly claim compensation after the rail networks were marred by weeks of cancellations, delays, and general disruption after new timetables were introduced in May.

Despite just under a third of passengers declining to go through the repayment process, the number of passengers claiming compensation for their last eligible journey that was delayed for 30 minutes or more has increased in the past two years by 4%, reaching 39% in total.

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Image credit: Lauren Hurley

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