Rail passengers in the north can now receive compensation for journeys delayed by 15 minutes or more after the Department for Transport (DfT) launched the Delay Repay 15 (DR15) scheme.
DR15 is an extension of the current compensation package that exists for journeys delayed by 30 minutes or more and means passengers delayed by 15 to 29 minutes can claim back 25 per cent of the single fare.
The DfT says the scheme comes in addition to the special compensation package announced for passengers on Northern and Transpennine Express, who experienced “unacceptable” disruption this summer following the introduction of a new timetable in May.
The DfT claims more than 12,000 claims have been submitted by passengers in the north, with more than £1 million paid out in compensation.
Rail minister Andrew Jones said: “Extending Delay Repay to cover 15-minute delays is the right thing to do for northern passengers. Our absolute priority is delivering the reliable services passengers deserve, but when things go wrong people must be compensated fairly and quickly
“We are also investing £15 million on enhancements for passengers across the north, ensuring we deliver improvements that passengers want alongside more comfortable and punctual services.”
Richard Allen, deputy MD at Northern, commented: “We are truly sorry for the inconvenience caused by the disruption to rail services earlier this year and have paid special compensation to more than 11,000 season ticket and non-season holders since the summer. Now, with the launch of Delay Repay 15, those customers who experience day-to-day delays will be able to claim the compensation they want and deserve. Our team works hard to deliver a consistent, punctual service but delays do happen and extending the scheme is the right thing to do for our customers.”
David Hoggarth, strategic rail director at Transport for the North, added: “The major disruption passengers across the north have endured this year has been unacceptable; it’s only right that they’re compensated when things go wrong. This a welcome move that will mean more people can claim now and in the future. Focus must now be getting services back on track.
“Transport for the North is committed to ensuring that passenger interests are put first, and we will continue to press the operators to deliver a reliable and more resilient rail service that people can depend on.”
The announcement comes after passengers learned rail fares would go up by an average 3.1 per cent from January despite calls for a freeze on prices following a year of the worst delays seen in four years.
Companies looking to ensure they receive compensation when an employee's journey is delayed have access to platforms such as Business Travel Compensation, which partners with Clarity, and Railguard, which this year won the Entrepreneurs in Business Travel Awards at the GTMC Overseas Conference in Ireland and has partnered with Amber Road and Capita Travel and Events.