ORR appoints provider and strengthens Rail Ombudsman scheme

ORR appoints provider and strengthens Rail Ombudsman scheme

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has announced Dispute Resolution Ombudsman (DRO) as the provider of the new ORR-sponsored Rail Ombudsman.

The DRO is an independent body that helps resolve disputes between consumers and businesses. Alongside the announcement of the new provider for the scheme, the ORR has also outlined how the scheme will be strengthened and more accessible for users.

The ORR plan to expand the scope of the scheme, to cover more complaints as well as reducing the time limit from six months to three months.

Stephanie Tobyn, director for strategy, policy and reform at ORR said:

“ORR is delighted to be delivering on the Plan for Rail commitment to take on sponsorship of the Rail Ombudsman.

“An Ombudsman is vitally important in providing resolution where complaints cannot be settled directly with the train company.

“ORR sponsorship provides ongoing stability to the Rail Ombudsman scheme, assures its independence, and supports its continued evolution in driving continuous improvement across industry.”

The 2021 Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail set out the requirement that the sponsorship of the Rail Ombudsman Scheme should be taken over by ORR and since then, has worked with stakeholders across the industry and within government to improve the scheme.

Within this new agreement which will run for five years, ORR intend to further develop relationships with transport and rail groups and grow the awareness of the scheme.

Kevin Grix, CEO and chief ombudsman of the Rail Ombudsman, said:

“We are proud that our work to raise standards and resolve disputes over the last five years, as the serving Rail Ombudsman, has been recognised as the best solution by the ORR for the future. This recognition enables us to take forward our work delivering for passengers and the rail industry. 

“We welcome the ORR’s plans to improve the passenger experience and look forward to playing a central role in helping them.”

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