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Forgetful passengers to be refunded railcard penalties

A new scheme will allow passengers who are charged extra for travelling without a railcard to claim their money back at least once per year, effective immediately, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has announced.

Passengers carrying a railcard, including the 16-25 young person’s railcard and the senior railcard, can benefit from discounts of up to a third on rail tickets. However, failure to show your railcard whilst travelling with a discounted ticket can result in having to pay the full price for the ticket or even a hefty penalty fare.

This alteration to the policy that operators use will allow customers some room for error and should be welcomed by the more forgetful traveller on the UK’s rail network.

The initiative is the latest in a string of similar ideas that are being rolled out to improve customer satisfaction with rail operators, including – as RTM reported yesterday – the introduction of automatic compensation for customers experiencing late or delayed services on Northern, TPE and East Anglia services by the end of 2017.

Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at RDG, said: “Customers make honest mistakes sometimes, and we think railcard holders should have one chance a year to be refunded if they’ve had to pay extra for forgetting theirs.”

Starr added that RDG were planning on bringing in digital railcards that could be accessed on a smartphone or another device to make them even harder to forget, and easier to replace if lost or stolen.

“These changes are part of wider plans to transform fares and ticketing, which is why we’re also trialling radical changes that would make it much easier for customers to choose the best value ticket for their journey,” she concluded.

Rail minister Paul Maynard also said: “We have been working closely with the rail industry on the action plan to improve fares and ticketing for passengers, and I am delighted that this is one of the first targets of the plan now achieved.”

The aim of the action plan is to provide a more modern, flexible and passenger-focused fares and ticketing system, he explained, one which takes advantage of all the benefits of new technology.

“Rail passengers must be able to trust that they are getting the best possible deal every time they travel,” said Maynard.

Top Image: Laura Hurley and PA Wire

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Andrew Gwilt   22/03/2017 at 22:15

I had to pay a £20 penalty fine as I forgotten to have my railcard with me as I paid my ticket by selecting the 16-25 railcard. And I learnt my mistakes from it and now as I'm over 25 and I got a disabled railcard and I use it as of when I do travel on the train because even though I do walk and I got Aspergers which I applied for it. I know that I can get a 1/3 off train travel and to get a all day off peak ticket as of when I do go to London. Plus I also have a top up Oyster card that I can use it for London buses, dlr and tubes.

Jon   25/03/2017 at 12:19

I don't see any mention of aspergers or autism on the disabled persons railcard website. So I'm not sure how exactly you got yours.

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