Improved process for passengers to claim delay compensation debuts

New licence requirements on Britain’s train companies require them to provide passengers with clear information about their entitlements to compensation.

passenger compensation

Credit: ORR

Passengers in Britain whose rail journeys are delayed now have an improved process for claiming compensation. New licence requirements on train companies, set out in a code of practice, require them to provide passengers with clear information both before and during their journey about their entitlements to compensation when there are delays. Train companies must now also improve how they process claims for compensation for train delays and publish data on how well they are meeting these obligations.

The new requirements state clear and accurate information must be provided to passengers on their rights to claim delay compensation, during the booking stage, online and in stations. In the case of a delay, train companies must inform passengers via in-train or on-platform announcements and electronic notifications of their rights to claim. Simplified claims processes must be in place to make it easy for passengers to submit compensation claims for delays, and train companies will have 20 working days to process claims. If a claim is rejected, they must give passengers clear justification and details about how to contest the decision.

These new requirements will help close the compensation gap, between those who could claim compensation and those that actually do so. In 2019-20, only 37 per cent of passengers eligible for compensation actually made a claim, a figure unchanged in recent years. The low claim uptake is caused by many passengers not knowing when they are eligible to claim or being deterred by complex claim processes.

“All train companies have agreed to these new standards, so the process for making a delay compensation claim will be a lot clearer for passengers,” Stephanie Tobyn, Deputy Director for Consumers at ORR, said. “When things go wrong, passengers will now have a better understanding of the eligibility criteria for making a claim, including the levels of payment, how to claim and what information they will need to provide.”

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