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Minority of affected passengers seeking delay repay compensation, union says

26 Nov 2023 2 minute read
Better Transport Week – Transport for Wales

Fewer than half of eligible rail passengers who are entitled to compensation under the delay repay scheme are putting in a claim, a new report claims.

Research by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) suggested that only 47% of passengers are putting in claims with rail companies when their train is delayed.

The union said it was “highly likely” that around £100 million has not been claimed in the past year.

Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary said: “This scandalous situation where private rail companies are effectively profiting from running a poor service could be ended with a single integrated ticket system alongside a nationalised rail operator.

“It would mean the overwhelming majority of delay repay claims could be done automatically and passengers who had to make a claim, could do so in confidence that rail companies were not profiting from their failures.

“The fleecing of taxpayers and passengers by profit hungry rail companies must come to an end and a fully publicly owned and controlled railway is the best way to achieve that.”

In September Transport for Wales (TfW) was ranked the worst rail operator for overall customer satisfaction in Britain, according to the Rail User Survey conducted by Transport Focus.

Punctuality, reliability, and service frequency are among the key areas where passengers were unhappy, with TfW ranked in 15th place across all three categories.

The biggest recorded drop was satisfaction with the punctuality and reliability of services. In the last eight months this has fallen by 20 points from 79 to 59.

In May this year Transport Focus called on TfW to take urgent action to deliver a more reliable rail service to passengers.

The Watchdog also wrote to the company’s chief executive Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde urging him to ensure services are improved and requested the production of an action plan with timescales for restoring service performance and reliability.

In his letter, Transport Focus Director David Sidebottom said the organisation recognised the challenges facing TfW but expressed frustration that promises made by the rail operator last November and in March had still failed to produce improvements.

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