Watchdog urges more Thameslink and Great Northern passengers to claim compensation

13 December 2018

The independent transport watchdog wants more Thameslink and Great Northern passengers to come forward and claim compensation for disruption suffered during the timetable crisis of last summer before the deadline of 31 January 2019.

In a survey of Thameslink and Great Northern passengers, Transport Focus found regular travellers had good awareness of compensation, but that some passengers had incorrectly ruled themselves out. Anxiety around eligibility for the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) compensation scheme has undermined some passengers’ willingness to claim.

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

“It’s important that more Govia Thameslink Railway passengers claim compensation before the deadline, so they send a clear message to the rail industry. Make a claim, make sure your voice is heard!”

“While many passengers who’ve already claimed say that they found the process of doing so easy, there are many more Thameslink and Great Northern passengers who are eligible.

“Govia Thameslink Railway can do more to raise awareness among passengers who travelled on daily tickets, including those issued by Transport for London or those using an Oyster card.”

Transport Focus is pushing for Govia Thameslink Railway to do more to:

  • With Transport for London, to tell Oyster pay as you go users that they need only submit their Oyster card number. While it helps to provide an Oyster journey history, if you don’t have it Govia Thameslink Railway can check passengers’ journey history using its records.
  • Tell passengers that industry compensation is available even if you claimed GTR’s usual Delay Repay or enhanced compensation during the qualifying period.

Passenger comments

“The service is provided by Great Northern. How do I claim when I pay by Oyster?”
Grange Park to Highbury and Islington passenger, Pay as you go

“Using an Oyster Card prepay I really don’t know how this would work through TFL.”
Elstree and Borehamwood to Farringdon, Oyster

“I assumed it’s just for season ticket holders, also I claimed compensation for individual journeys already so don’t know if I’m entitled to more.”
St Albans City to St Pancras passenger, daily tickets

“I was impressed that you took Oyster journey history from August as implying I’d made the same journey May-July. I’d expected an argument.” London Blackfriars to Elstree and Borehamwood passenger, Monthly season ticket

Notes to editors
Additional compensation offered to Thameslink and Great Northern passengers – Transport User Panel Survey is published today by Transport Focus (web link goes live 00.01 Thursday 13 December 2018).

How long before the window to claim closes ?
All users now have until 31 January to submit a claim to the Govia Thameslink Railway compensation scheme. The deadline to submit a claim for season ticket holders has been extended to the same date.

Compensation scheme eligibility
Govia Thameslink Railway has requested evidence from passenger to prove they travelled on the days they are claiming for. However, Transport Focus has found that Oyster journey histories are no longer available to passengers. Govia Thameslink Railway can check passengers’ journey history using its records.

Survey results
Awareness of compensation among the passengers who use Thameslink or Great Northern trains at least a few times a month is good. 89 per cent of passengers say that they have at least heard about the compensation, with 29 percent saying that they know a lot about it. 11 per cent say that they know nothing.

58 per cent of passengers whose journeys suggest that they would be entitled to the additional compensation believe themselves to be. 18 per cent did not consider themselves eligible for the compensation, 11 per cent say that they had not heard about the compensation at all.

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