Transport User Voice – December 2016 – Making rail compensation easier for passengers

29 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.

Our survey of over 7000 passengers found that two thirds of passengers eligible for compensation did not claim for their most recent train delay. While better, this is still too high.

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 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.

We found 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 announced lowering of the Delay Repay level to 15 minutes starting with Southern services. 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
  • continue to promote how and when passengers can claim money back for delayed journeys
  • introduce more automatic compensation schemes, so passengers don’t have to claim in the first place.

We 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.

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

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