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Train passengers missing out on up to £100m compensation every year

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Make Delay Pay campaign launches to encourage more passengers to claim money back from train companies.

Rail passengers have been urged to claim compensation for every delay they suffer after £100m in pay-outs went unclaimed last year.

Transport Focus, the rail industry watchdog, said more rail passengers must claim the compensation they are entitled to in order to send a message to train operators that reliability must improve.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, said: “Too many rail passengers miss out on compensation for late running trains. When things go wrong train operators must ensure every eligible passenger knows about Delay Repay and how to claim.

“They must also do more to make it easy to claim and automate this process wherever possible. To make their voice heard passengers must claim every time.”

According to Transport Focus, a third (35 per cent) of passengers claimed £81m for delays in 2017/18, suggesting travellers are missing out on £100m in compensation.

The regulator said just 39 per cent of passengers claimed compensation for journeys delayed for 30 minutes or more. This figure falls to only 18 per cent claiming for delays of 15 minutes or more.

Eight in 10 (82 per cent) of delayed passengers entitled to Delay Repay compensation didn’t hear an announcement on the train or at the station about making a claim.

Transport Focus is calling for more automated compensation schemes, so passengers don’t have to claim in the first place. It also wants to see train operators to make the compensation process quicker and easier for passengers, with choices about how they make a claim and receive the payment (including the option to donate the money to charity).

A report by Which? in May found train companies make it difficult for passengers to claim compensation, with some demanding up to 24 pieces of information during the claim process.

What is Delay Repay?

Delay Repay is a national scheme train companies use to compensate passengers for delays.

Currently compensation applies for delays over 30 minutes with most train companies. But with some rail firms you can claim for delays of 15 minutes or more; the 15-minute rule is being rolled out across the country by the Autumn.

To claim compensation, customers need to complete an online form on their train company’s website, or pick up a paper form at the station.