Rail passengers to benefit from improved rights on delay compensation
1 October 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
From 01 October, rail passengers in the UK will benefit from improved rights on delay compensation following the introduction of the new National Rail Conditions of Travel which is now in line with the Consumer Rights Act.
Under the changes, rail passengers will able to claim compensation for problems beyond a delay. Furthermore, passengers will have the option of receiving a monetary refund in contrast to the current delay repay which usually offers a refund in the form of vouchers.
Rail passengers can now receive a monetary refund instead of vouchers for delays
Payment will be made in the form of a cheque, refund on a debit or credit card, vouchers which can be exchanged for cash, or bank transfer (BACS payment).
The changes are included in the new National Rail Conditions of Travel which replaces the existing National Rail Conditions of Carriage. Moreover, today’s introduction will be covered under the October 2015 Consumer Rights Act which at that time did not include rail.
“We’re making claiming compensation simpler and clearer”
Commenting on the introduction, Jacqueline Starr, Managing Director, Customer Experience at the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Train companies’ compensation arrangements already go beyond what is required under consumer law, and we want to give passengers an even better deal.
“We’re making claiming compensation simpler and clearer, and we have tried to make the Conditions of Travel as simple and easy to understand as possible too.
“Passengers will be advised clearly of their right to compensation. Every train operator will comply with the Consumer Rights Act, including offering compensation by the method the passenger bought a ticket.”
“Poor performance on the railways is not just limited to delays”
Lianna Etkind, Public Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport said: “Too often, passengers pay high fares yet receive overcrowded, uncomfortable and sometimes downright inadequate service. It’s no wonder that so few passengers claim compensation at the moment – it’s poorly publicised and the process is a hassle. Poor performance on the railways is not just limited to delays, and we welcome the fact that from this weekend, the new Consumer Rights Act will cover the quality of rail journeys as well.
“How much compensation will passengers be able to claim when the there is no working toilet on board, when there are no seats available or the promised wifi is not working? We will be working with passengers to press for answers so that more passengers to get proper redress when train companies let them down.”
The new National Rail Conditions of Travel can be found here.