Tuesday, July 16

Train companies now offer compensation if delayed by 15 minutes



Customers on Southern Rail, Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Great Northern trains can now claim compensation if their trains are delayed by more than 15 minutes.

As of December 11, passengers can claim 25pc of the cost of a single fare ticket if their train arrives 15 to 29 minutes later than scheduled. Season ticket holders will have a proportion of their ticket refunded.

The compensation also applies to those who are made late when travelling during strike action.

This may offer a tiny ray of sunshine to those attempting to make their way to work amid Southern Rail’s 48-hour walkout and ongoing strike action by train unions.

The Department of Travel announced changes to compensation repayments in October.

Govia Thameslink Railway, the parent company of the four brands, is the first train company to offer passengers their money back under the new ‘Delay Repay 15’ compensation scheme.

The Government cannot make changes to all rail franchise contracts, instead having to wait for the contracts to come up for renewal before bringing in the new rules.

At the time of announcing the changes, Government officials said the department was “exploring opportunities” to roll out the terms in other franchises before 2020 .

However, a spokesman refused to confirm a future date, only saying the department was “committed” to introducing the scheme across the entire rail network.

South Western, West Midlands and South Eastern services are expected to roll out the scheme next.

The current Delay Repay scheme, which most companies have signed up to, offers customers a refund of 50pc of the single fare for delays of 30 to 59 minutes, 100pc of the single fare for delays of 60 minutes or more, and 100pc of the return fare for delays of two hours or more.

Virgin Trains and c2c, which runs between London and Essex, both offer an automatic repayment to customers who have been delayed by 30 minutes or more.

To be eligible Virgin passengers must have bought tickets on its website or app. Those travelling on c2c trains must have purchased their fare using the c2c smartcard linked to their online account.

Passengers with other train companies that want to claim for a delay must do so within 28 days of the delay either online or by post and provide proof of travel. This could be the original ticket or receipt, or a scan or photograph of either.