Light at the end of the tunnel for commuters?

Carshalton and Wallington MP, Tom Brake, received good news in a recent debate in Parliament when the Conservative Rail Minister said that the Chancellor agreed that better compensation for delayed trains must be given to commuters

Tom Brake MP tabled an adjournment debate calling on the Rail Minister to implement a fairer ‘Delay Repay’ scheme for train commuters. His proposed ‘Delay Repay’ scheme would reduce the minimum threshold for Delay Repay from 30 minutes to 15 minutes, imposing on poorly-performing train companies 50 per cent compensation of the single fare for a 15 to 29 minute delay, and 100 per cent compensation for delays of 30 minutes or more.

Tom said, “It is good news to hear that the Chancellor supports a better compensation deal for rail passengers but I am worried that the Minister did not provide a date when this would be implemented.

Tom added, “In the last month, I have written to all London MPs asking them to support my plans for a fairer ‘Delay Repay’. I was disappointed that only two of them have signed up and the Labour and Conservative Mayoral candidates aren’t amongst them.”

He is also calling for a drastic improvement in the way train operating companies advertise the ‘Delay Repay’ compensation scheme. According to the House of Commons library, the take up of compensation is low. In 2014, the rail regulator (ORR – the Office of Rail and Road) found that only 11% of passengers who participated in their 2013 survey of 1,000 rail passengers ‘always’ or ‘usually’ claimed compensation when they were delayed; 15% said that they ‘rarely’ claimed and 68% said they ‘never’ claimed compensation. A recent survey by Transport Focus in 2013, also found that 88% of those apparently eligible for compensation for their delay did not claim it.

Tom added, “These numbers are alarming and reinforce the view that train companies are not doing enough to inform customers of their compensation rights.”

 

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