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Which rail companies are slowest to respond to complaints?

Written by: Danielle Levy
Official statistics from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), the regulator, have revealed how quickly rail companies respond to complaints. Here, we outline the best and the worst offenders…

Many rail users experienced disruption on their train journeys following timetable changes which were unsuccessfully introduced in May of last year. This contributed towards a total of 3 million compensation claims for rail delays between April and mid-October 2018.

The ORR found that 84% of these complaints were approved, while 92% were closed within 20 working days.

Out of 23 train operators, 15 were above the national average of 92% in closing compensation claims within 20 working days.

However, a number fell considerably short of these timescales. They include Hull Trains, which was only able to close 31.8% of claims within 20 working days, TransPennine Express which closed 45.7%, while South Western Railway had a response rate of 70.3% over the period.

Meanwhile, Great Western Railway closed 76% of claims – although the ORR said this represented an improvement for the company.

Top performers

Timetable changes resulted in chaos in May 2018, particularly among passengers travelling on Northern, TransPennine Express and Govia Thameslink Railway, with the latter receiving over 1 million claims. The good news is that 99.9% of these were closed within 20 days.

Greater Anglia and Southeastern featured amongst the best trainlines. They closed over 200,000 claims during this period, with a response rate of 99.7% and 100% within 20 days respectively.

Stephanie Tobyn, deputy director of consumer at ORR, said: “Passengers have rightly made claims for these journeys and it is good to see that train companies, in the main, are responding to these promptly.”

She added that the ORR will meet with all train companies later this month to review the current timescales for compensation claims, particularly those that were below target.

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