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Compensation schemes are ‘not optional’, Grayling warns TOCs

Transport secretary Chris Grayling expects passengers to be promptly compensated when they experience delays, he has told train operating companies.

Responding to the Which? investigation, suggesting that some franchises have refused to pay compensation to claimants who have made a high volume of claims, Grayling has written to rail operators.

“When things go wrong, and passengers experience delays and cancellations to their rail journeys, they rightly expect to be promptly compensated for the disruption caused,” the transport secretary wrote.

“I want to be clear with you all: my department obliges franchisees to operate well-defined compensation schemes so that passengers receive appropriate redress for the disruption caused to their rail journeys. These schemes are not optional,” he added.

Grayling argued that that the schemes are not to be “applied selectively at the discretion of franchises”, and that operating companies are obliged to accept and process all eligible compensation claims “swiftly and fairly”.

The transport secretary’s warning comes at a time when passengers across the country have been suffering disruption since the new timetable was rolled out last month - particularly Northern and Govia Thameslink Rail customers.

Grayling added: “If passengers’ trust in the rail industry is to be rebuilt, it is crucial that they feel they are getting a fair deal when things go wrong.

“I trust that franchisees will always ensure that clear and accurate information is given to passengers regarding their compensation rights, and that all eligible claimants receive the compensation to which they are entitled.”

Top image: Dominic Lipinski, PA Wire


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