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GTR forks out £15m in compensation claims in 2016-17 as total payouts exceed £73m

Passenger compensation claims exceeded £73m in 2016-17, the latest figures from the DfT have revealed.

The total compensation paid for delayed journeys and discretionary compensation following complaints has increased by £29m since 2015-16.

Govia Thameslink Railway, the parent company of beleaguered operator Southern, topped the table with repayments of almost £15m last year – which amounts to a seven fold increase compared to the £2.2m it paid out in 2015-16.

The TOC also paid out an additional £11,972 to Southern season ticket holders for the “extraordinary disruption” in 2016.

Virgin Trains East Coast and Virgin Trains West Coast weren’t too far behind, paying out £13.7m and £13.2m respectively.

c2c again stands out as having paid out the smallest amount of compensation - just £236,000.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus said that the figures reflected “patchy punctuality.”

He added that while it is positive that more people were claiming compensation, passengers would rather enjoy more reliable journeys on the UK network.

“Our research has shown that almost two thirds of eligible passengers were unaware they could claim, so it is good to see more people getting some money back to take the sting out of the situation,” he continued.

“We think the process could be made even easier – with greater automation – to help yet more people claim.

“And of course, the best case would be for performance to improve so there is no need to claim.”

Back in April last year, the travel watchdog warned that many Southern passengers were still unaware of compensation schemes available to them that would allow them to claim money back following delays caused by frequent union strikes last year.

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Peter   08/01/2018 at 14:42

Good information but it needs proper explanation. Looks good for C2C but is it because fewer people have claimed for instance?ò

Andrew Gwilt   09/01/2018 at 09:54

I think it’s going from bad to worse for GTR. They should split Southern Railways from its current franchise and allow Southern to operate with a different operator ie: Abellio or Trenitalia or whoever would take over the Southern Rail franchise.

Mark Hare   09/01/2018 at 14:25

Peter - it looks good for C2C because more of their trains run on time. Hardly surprising when they run a fairly basic operation over relatively few route miles compared with for example East Coast and West Coast whose trains also have to share lines with many other operators, both passenger and freight. And Andrew - as has been explained to you many times, any new operator who takes over the Southern franchise would still be employing the same staff with the same grievances as before so it would not be some sort of magical remedy as you seem to think.

John Grant   09/01/2018 at 15:29

C2C must have many fewer passengers than the huge GTR franchise; it'd be interesting to know whether they still top the table if it's average per million passenger journeys rather than totals. (Though as Southern is included they may well.) BTW the link to the figures seems to be broken.

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