Repayments to rail users remain subject to delay

There have long been concerns about compensation for rail passengers who experience delays and poor service. These were brought into sharp focus last year by Which?'s "super-complaint" about the ineffectiveness of Delay Repay compensation schemes.

In the last few months there has been a series of announcements intended to improve the situation. Rail's exemption from the Consumer Rights Act 2016 has ended. This means that rail services must, by law, be delivered with sufficient "care and skill".

Which?'s super-complaint clearly set out a number of long-standing deficiencies in rail compensation schemes. The procedure is unduly complex and inhibits passengers from making claims.

The regulator's response, published a year ago, tightened train companies' licence conditions in relation to providing passengers with information about compensation schemes. Beyond that, however, the response seems to have been limited to "discussions" with the train companies about improving claim forms and processes, training staff and identifying the "compensation gap" between what is owed to passengers and what is actually paid out.

The Transport Committee has put pressure on the sector to improve the system, but the pace of change is far too slow.

Full article available in the current issue of Transport Times

Louise Ellman MP, Chair, Transport Select Committee

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