Passenger rights when train timetables are changed after ticket purchase
07 August 2023
Transport Focus supports the rail industry’s Smarter Information Smarter Journeys initiatives to improve passenger information. Delivered as part of that programme, we successfully pressed for the rail industry to introduce email alerts for passengers who have bought tickets on a train that is later removed from the timetable or retimed. Most ticket retailers are now doing this. That means passengers can plan around timetable changes made after they bought their ticket, rather than turn up on the day and discover, for example, their train is in fact a bus.
Although welcoming this long-overdue initiative, Transport Focus is concerned that rules are not yet in place to make sure passengers aren’t out of pocket when the timetable changes. We believe that as well as the (existing) entitlement to a full refund if you decide not to travel, it should be crystal clear that if the railway changes the timetable after it has sold somebody a ticket, the passenger should – within reasonable parameters – be allowed to travel on alternative trains at the original price.
You can read our letter to the Rail Delivery Group below.
Discussions are continuing within the rail industry about how to resolve this issue and we will publish the industry’s response when we receive it.