Rail passengers miss out on up to £100 million compensation every year

21 July 2019

Make delay pay! Claim Delay Repay compensation urges transport watchdog.

More rail passengers must claim the compensation they are entitled to and send a message to train operators that reliability must keep improving.

Launching Make Delay Pay a new campaign to encourage more passengers to claim what they are entitled to Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:

“Too many rail passengers miss out on compensation for late running trains.

“When things go wrong train operators must ensure every eligible passenger knows about Delay Repay and how to claim.

“They must also do more to make it easy to claim and automate this process wherever possible.

“To make their voice heard passengers must claim every time.”

35% of passengers claimed £81 million compensation in 2017-18 meaning as much as £100 million remains unclaimed from train operators every year.

Just 39% of passengers claimed compensation for journeys delayed for 30 minutes or more. This figure falls to only 18% claiming for delays of 15 minutes or more.

82% of delayed passengers entitled to Delay Repay compensation didn’t hear any announcement on the train or at the station about making a 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 (including the option to donate this to charity)
  • train operators should do more to promote how and when passengers can claim money back for every delayed journey, including making announcements on trains
  • more automated compensation schemes, so passengers don’t have to claim in the first place.

Delay Repay schemes benefit passengers and help underpin trust in the railway but more passengers must claim. Most train companies now offer Delay Repay, however there is more to do to make claiming easier for passengers. Transport Focus is working with train operators to ensure that passengers are aware that they can claim, and that the process is swift and easy to use.

Notes to editors

The Make Delay Pay campaign aims to raise passenger awareness of compensation for delayed and cancelled train journeys, persuade more rail users to claim what they are entitled to and ensure train operators streamline the claims process through easier online and automated systems.

Make Delay Pay report.

Transport Focus welcomes the Office of Rail and Road recommendation to the Williams Rail Review that funding is made available for Transport Focus to lead a national awareness-raising programme.

For further information please contact:
Kieran Watkins, Senior communications officer
Tel: 0300 123 0836 or email: kieran.watkins@transportfocus.org.uk

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