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South Western Railway – more work to be done

Some good news for delayed South Western Railway passengers, who will now be able to claim compensation if their journey is delayed by 15 minutes or more. This is a big improvement on the previous Delay Repay compensation threshold of 30 minutes.

However, there is clearly work for South Western and Network Rail to do in improving their service to passengers. Punctuality has been in decline for a while now.

A good start would be to raise better awareness for the new threshold, and the process for claiming compensation. Do enough people know when their train is delayed to the point where they can make a claim? Some guards and members of train staff have been more proactive, announcing when a delay reaches the trigger point. Has South Western assessed the take-up rate? Transport Focus’ last research found that only 35 per cent of those eligible to make a claim, did so – why? Finally, is South Western resourced to cope with claims? It can currently take up to 15 working days to get a response to a Delay Repay 30 claim – a more timely response is needed.

We continue to monitor performance for passengers and welcome the opportunity to ask some tough questions to South Western and Network Rail when they come in for a special board meeting in January 2018.

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