Rail service improvements and disruptions

10.01.19

One in three train operators failing to pay out compensation on time, according to ORR

Statistics revealing which train operators have failed to pay compensation to passengers on time have been released by the ORR for the first time, revealing that more than one in three companies are failing to meet target response times.

Over three million compensation claims were made in total by passengers for rail delays between April and mid-October 2018, with the ORR’s figures showing that GTR received one million of those claims made during the six months surrounding the May timetable chaos.

Whilst 15 of the 23 train operators met the national average of responding to 92% of compensation claims within 20 working days, First Group’s TransPennine Express, 45.7%, and Hull Trains, 31.8%, were the worst offenders and fell far below the national average.

But GTR, which runs Great Northern, Southern, and Thameslink services, managed to close 99.9% of its one million compensation claims within 20 days.

In fact, most companies became more efficient in processing claims, with Southeastern and Greater Anglia also closing the vast majority of their targets.

Claims peaked nation-wide between mid-June and mid-July, with 616,000 complaints made in a four-week period as train operators struggled to run services in the wake of the May timetable changes which caused chaos across the network.

Stephen Tobyn, deputy director of consumers at the ORR, commented: “This is the first time ORR has published data on the important area of delay compensation.

“Passengers have rightly made claims for these journeys and it is good to see that train companies, in the main, are responding to these promptly.”

He added: “ORR will be meeting with all train companies later this month to review the current timescales for compensation claims, particularly where these are below target.”

Compensation schemes, which are not optional, have been criticised in the past with Which? claiming that the rail companies were misleading customers and it was reported that almost a third of passengers were failing to claim compensation because it was not worth the effort.

Image credit - VictorHuang

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