More passengers claiming – but rail operators still need to do better on compensation

17 November 2016

The number of passengers claiming the compensation they are owed has almost trebled – but is still less than half of all those eligible.

A survey of over 7000 passengers by the independent watchdog, Transport Focus, found that two thirds of passengers eligible for compensation did not claim for their most recent train delay.

The number of passengers claiming compensation has increased to 35 per cent (from 12 per cent in 2013). However, significant improvement is needed to make the process more open to passengers.

The research by Transport Focus in partnership with the Department for Transport and the Office of Rail and Road found:

  • the number of passengers claiming compensation has increased since 2013 from 12 per cent to 35 per cent
  • 57 per cent of eligible passengers weren’t aware they could claim compensation or didn’t even think about it
  • just 38 per cent of passengers are satisfied with the train company alerting them to their right to claim compensation.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:

“The rail industry has made some improvements in telling passengers what they are due after delays – but they still have a way to go. Another obstacle is the perceived effort involved in claiming.

“The Government has lowered the Delay Repay level to 15 minutes starting on Southern services first. Train companies now need to do more to make it easier for passengers to claim.”

Transport Focus is calling for:

  • train operators to make the compensation process quicker and easier for passengers, with choices about how they make a claim and receive the payment
  • train operators to continue to promote how and when passengers can claim money back for delayed journeys
  • more automatic compensation schemes, so passengers don’t have to claim in the first place.

Transport Focus will look to repeat this research again in future to understand what impact Delay Repay 15 and recent industry publicity campaigns have had on compensation claim rates.


Notes to editors

Rail delays and compensation – what passengers want research can be found here.

Research in 2013 by Transport Focus found that few passengers actually claimed what they were entitled to. Following the super-complaint by Which? to the ORR calling for an investigation into rail delay refunds Transport Focus, the Department for Transport and the Office of Rail Road have worked together to update and build on that work.

For further information please contact press office on 0300 123 0821.

Like what you read? Please click below to share on social media.