Latest Rail News

14.04.16

Bill could force TOCs to spend NR delay payments on improvements

Legislation requiring train operating companies (TOCs) to spend compensation payments from Network Rail for delays on improvement projects is currently going through the House of Commons.

Joan Ryan, Labour MP for Enfield North, who led the group of 12 MPs presenting the Improvement of Rail Passenger Services (Use of Disruption Payments) Bill, said that it was unfair that TOCs profit from schedule 8 disruption payments from Network Rail for maintenance failures which lead to delays.

Of the £575m in schedule 8 payments made between 2010 and 2015, only £73m was spent on compensation for passengers. Although this is more than double the amount before 2010, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) recently criticised the lack of information on how to claim compensation in response to a Which? campaign. Many of the payments were funded by taxpayers’ contributions to Network Rail.

Ryan said: “The payments received from Network Rail bear no relation whatever to the passenger compensation schemes between the train operators and their customers. Indeed, only a fraction of what train operators receive in payments from Network Rail is ever passed on to commuters whose journeys have been disrupted. Passengers are certainly not helped to claim what they are owed for delays, given that train operators make it so difficult for them to access compensation.

“It is scandalous that a system can be designed in such a way that the very people using the rail network and who are most affected by the poor standard of service on offer—tax-paying commuters—can end up contributing to train operators’ profits out of their own misery! How can this be right? Where is the accountability to the fare-paying, taxpaying public for how this system operates and where this money goes?”

In Network Rail’s latest figures, the public performance measure (PPM) of British railways was at 90.5%, compared to 91.2% at the same time last year, and Network Rail was responsible for roughly 60% of delays.

Virgin is the only TOC to currently offer compensation in the form of money, not vouchers, as TOCs are now obliged to do under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

The proposed Bill will empower the ORR to make TOCs disclose any profit from schedule 8 payments and ensure that it is spent on profits to improve passenger experience, including retaining ticket office staff, facilitating easier access to station platforms and trains, free wi-fi, or providing a guarantee that trains will not miss out stops.

Ryan cited a £4m rail reparation fund, created last year by the ORR and Network Rail to benefit passengers affected by delays on Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Southern routes, which was spent on increasing station and maintenance staff and introducing incident management software.

The Bill, introduced yesterday under the Ten Minute Rule, will next be read in the House of Commons on 22 April.

(Image c. Johnny Green from PA Images)

Comments

Lutz   15/04/2016 at 21:51

Typical Public Sector workers; have no idea of what is involved in running a business, and fail to grasp that businesses incur costs because of NR's failures. All they want is to have the TOCs even further out of pocket.

John Rutherford   18/04/2016 at 23:05

For God's sake stop playing around with the deckchairs and start concentrating on saving the ship!

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Grand Central plans new rail route from Blackpool to London from spring 2020

25/06/2019Grand Central plans new rail route from Blackpool to London from spring 2020

Grand Central will run a new route from Blackpool to London from spring 2020, the train operator announced today. The new InterCity services... more >
Transport for Wales awards first ECI contracts for £700m South Wales Metro

25/06/2019Transport for Wales awards first ECI contracts for £700m South Wales Metro

Transport for Wales (TfW) has awarded three companies to begin preparatory works on the £738m South Wales Metro, the organisation announced... more >
Increasing passenger confidence and accessibility with the Rail Delivery Group

25/06/2019Increasing passenger confidence and accessibility with the Rail Delivery Group

The Rail Delivery Group plans to make travelling by train easier than ever before by making trains and stations more accessible and developing a ... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

By Ewan Quayle, Rail Technology Magazine Reporter Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on R... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in ... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey&rsqu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Increasing passenger confidence and accessibility with the Rail Delivery Group

25/06/2019Increasing passenger confidence and accessibility with the Rail Delivery Group

The Rail Delivery Group plans to make travelling by train easier than ever before by making trains and stations more accessible and developing a ... more >
Diversity, inclusion and marking 100 years of Women in Engineering

24/06/2019Diversity, inclusion and marking 100 years of Women in Engineering

100 years of Women in Engineering, and transforming the future too One hundred years on from the birth of the Women in Engineering Society (... more >
Challenging perceptions of apprenticeships in the rail industry with Anna Delvecchio

20/06/2019Challenging perceptions of apprenticeships in the rail industry with Anna Delvecchio

RTM talks exclusively to one of the rising stars of the industry and Transport’s Woman of the Year 2018, Anna Delvecchio. Amey’s... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >