Regulator urges rail passengers to claim compensation for travel disruption

30 December 2014

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) is today urging all passengers who have been affected by significant travel disruption to claim the compensation they are entitled to.

Passengers whose journeys are disrupted may be entitled to a full refund or compensation for their ticket from the train operator, if their train was cancelled or delayed by over thirty minutes. Train operators use either the "Passenger Charter" or "Delay Repay" schemes when compensating passengers for a delay to their journey. Further information on claiming a refund or compensation from the operators affected by this weekend's disruption can be found on their websites:

East Coast
http://www.eastcoast.co.uk/customer-service/refunds/ 

First Great Western
https://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/About-Us/Customer-services/Compensation  

Thameslink (formerly First Capital Connect)
http://www.thameslinkrailway.com/contact-us/delay-repay/ 

Office of Rail Regulation ceo, Richard Price said:

ORR will be conducting a review into this weekend's disruption, and amongst other things will look at the standard of passenger information during disruptions – exploring whether passengers have been adequately informed to make alternative arrangements to their journeys or claim compensation.
Our passenger compensation report published in February found that three quarters of rail passengers are unaware of their compensation and refunds rights. Effective communication with passengers is vital. ORR is pushing for industry to do more proactively to improve standards of passenger information.

Notes to editors

  1. ORR is the independent safety and economic regulator for Great Britain's railways. Follow ORR on Twitter @railregulation.
  2. The passenger compensation report and ORR's quick guide to claiming compensation can be downloaded here: https://orr.gov.uk/publications/reports/rail-passenger-compensation-and-refund-rights 
  3. The Passenger Charter scheme is based on the compensation arrangements set out in condition 42 of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage (NRCoC). Passenger Charter schemes differ for individual TOCs. Under the NRCoC passengers may be eligible for compensation if they arrive more than 60 minutes late at their destination, depending on the cause of delay.
  4. Under the Delay Repay scheme the amount of compensation payable increases with the length of delay, e.g. 50% of the relevant ticket (or portion of ticket) at 30 minutes and 100% at 60 minutes. It is a 'no fault' scheme – compensation is payable regardless of the cause of the delay.
  5. ORR is currently working with retailers of rail tickets to develop a Code of Practice on the information passengers should be provided with when buying a ticket. We consulted in September 2014 to seek stakeholders' views on the information that is material to passengers. The Code is expected to be in place by spring 2015.