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DfT confirms ‘Delay Repay 15’ for passengers to be introduced

Passengers will now be entitled to compensation after delays of 15 minutes instead of 30 minutes, the government has promised.

The DfT said ‘Delay Repay 15’ would be introduced on Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) services “within months” before being introduced on other services.

GTR operates Southern, which has seen record levels of disruption and poor passenger satisfaction levels.  It is currently experiencing a three-day guards’ strike.

Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, said: “We recognise that, above all else, passengers want a reliable train service, but when things do go wrong it is vital that they are compensated fairly. ‘Delay Repay 15’ is a major improvement for passengers and we are working with train companies to make it as easy as possible for passengers to claim their rightful compensation.”

Under the changes, passengers will be able to claim back 25% of the single fare if their train is delayed by 15-29 minutes.

Existing measures where passengers are entitled to 50% of their fare if their train is delayed by 30-59 minutes, 100% if it is delayed by over an hour, and 100% of the total cost if it is delayed for over two hours, will stay in place.

Rail minister Paul Maynard recently promised a “timely announcement” on compensation for Southern passengers.

Charles Horton, chief executive of GTR, said: “We warmly welcome this announcement. When passengers are delayed, they deserve compensation and we strongly advise all our passengers to make a claim.

“This announcement will be good news for those with shorter journeys who think it is unfair they receive nothing for delays under 30 minutes. Now a decision has been made, we will work hard to implement this as quickly as possible.”

Stephen Joseph, executive director of Campaign for Better Transport, added that Southern’s long-suffering passengers deserve more than this, “including a freeze or even reductions on fares to recognise the horrendous service they’ve been getting”.

A recent report from the Office of Rail and Road found that around 80% of rail passengers do not claim compensation they are entitled to and called on the industry to promote its compensation processes and make them easier to use.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015, which came into force this month, applies to rail and theoretically entitles passengers to new rights, including compensation for poor-quality services as well as delays.

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Everyone in the railway wants trains to run on time and when things go wrong we want to put them right.  Passengers are getting an even better deal with improved rights and new arrangements for getting their money back.

“We know that every minute counts for passengers and we understand the argument for wanting to start the compensation clock ticking earlier, especially for commuter services. The rail industry is always ready to work with government on plans which benefit passengers.”

He added that a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of how to claim compensation for delays will start next week.

(Image c. Teilo Colley from PA Wire)

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James Palma   14/10/2016 at 08:31

The bloke from the campaign for better transport should be campaigning for the unions to be paying the compensation to the passengers that their actions are causing. Not Southern. In fact unions should pay the compensation to passengers from any strike action they take, therefore minimising spurious strikes.

Jerry Alderson   14/10/2016 at 16:29

Change also got support from Railfuture. Press release at: The advantage of the GTR concession arrangement is that this kind of thing can be introduced quickly without major renegotiation. Of course, there will need to be technical changes (e.g. website and app), publicity and additional resourcing costs to process the claims.

Pdeaves   17/10/2016 at 08:39

When will the government enforce a similar scheme on our bus/coach and air services?

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