Rail operator pays £2m to commuters

Train operators Southeastern has paid out more than £2 million in compensation to disgruntled commuters affected by delayed services.

The figure, which covers the last 12 months up to October 2014, is four times higher than the amount handed out for the same period the previous year,

The sum was handed out under Southeastern’s Delay Repay scheme in which commuters delayed by 30 minutes or more can claim compensation.

The figure does not take into account compensation given out relating to the serious of land-slips that affected Battle commuters earlier in the year.

A spokesman for Southeastern said: “We acknowledge that punctuality and performance has slipped this year from the record levels we saw in 2012-2013 and we are working with Network Rail to address this.

“As performance has slipped, the number of passengers claiming compensation under the industry-wide Delay repay scheme has increased.

“Since October 2013 we have paid out more than £2 million to passengers under this scheme.”

The train operator blamed the most prolonged spell of rainfall in more than 250 years for 124 of the delays and said signal failures at London Bridge had also had a major impact on its services.

Commuter group member John Reynolds said: “We still believe Southeastern is best place to run the franchise over the next four years, but we will be pushing for a significant improvement in their performance over that period.

The poor performance drew comment from Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark who said: “I met with both Southeastern and Network Rail and made it clear to them that rail travellers expect much better value for their money.”