The UK Department for transport announced that passengers on half of rail operators run by the DfT are now eligible for improved compensation schemes when their trains are delayed by 15 minutes or more.
The decision entered into force on 1st April, when Greater Anglia and Greater Western Railway passengers have been able to apply for Delay Repay 15 (DR15), meaning 50% of DfT operated franchises now deliver the scheme.
Since April 2nd, South Western Railway passengers are able to access an automated Delay Repay system, cutting the time and effort needed to claim payment for late trains.
“Ensuring reliability and punctuality for passengers is our top priority, but when things go wrong passengers must be suitably reimbursed. That’s why we’re working to introduce Delay Repay 15 on all our franchises, as well as automated ‘one-click’ compensation on future franchises,” Rail Minister, Andrew Jones said.
DR15 has already been introduced on GTR, South Western, West Midlands, c2c and Northern.
The government has also worked with industry to introduce a new rail ombudsman, providing a free, easily accessible dispute resolution scheme for when passengers are dissatisfied with the response to their complaint.
The launch of DR15 allows eligible passengers to claim money back on services delayed by 15 to 29 minutes. Previously, compensation applied only to delays of at least 30 minutes or more.
In October 2018, the Secretary of State announced its plan to make compensation quicker and easier to claim, including rolling out Delay Repay on all operators and introducing ‘one click’ compensation on future franchises. The DfT 2018 reports showed that the total amount of compensation paid to passengers has risen 80% in the past 2 years, as the government has increased the requirements of train operators to publicise passengers’ rights. Claims are also being dealt with more quickly, with 67% now resolved within 2 weeks compared to 48% in 2016.