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Good information and compensation during strike, the right thing to do.

17 May 2016

It is passengers who suffer most in the event of rail strikes.

This is all too well known by Southern passengers, who have just had two days of strikes last month and are set for more pain this week.

When industrial relations reach deadlock, it is important that all parties just get back around the table and come up with an arrangement without bringing the railway to a standstill.

However, if strikes look likely, passengers need plenty of advance information about what services will be running to allow them to plan their journeys during this uncertain time. They should also be offered some form of compensation.

We welcome these efforts by Govia Thameslink (GTR) to keep passengers well informed through a number of avenues. The map on its website clearly showing affected routes, coloured red or amber, is very useful. It is also making passengers aware of alternative routes and services – so allowing them to make informed choices. I am informed that there are emails, posters and leaflets going out to spread the word. A colleague saw staff out proactively informing passengers at Victoria with leaflets with good information. And declassifying First Class carriages on the day seems sensible.

In respect to compensation, GTR Southern’s enhanced offer goes beyond what is required – and that is the right thing to do.

Normal Delay Repay compensation is only paid against the timetable in operation, so if a scheduled service is not running on a strike day, technically it means there is no entitlement to compensation.

I am also pleased to see GTR proactively promoting this enhanced offer to passengers. If this affects you, please do claim.

In a nutshell:

  • strike compensation has been agreed for those on red and amber routes
  • this means that season ticket holders on these routes who chose not to travel with Southern on strike dates or travel and are delayed can claim for a day’s compensation (paid in cashable National Rail vouchers)
  • there is a separate claim form (simpler to complete and quicker to process get compensation to customers)
  • normal Delay Repay applies to all other Southern routes.
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