Southern season ticket holders to receive free month's travel
Tens of thousands of Southern rail users are to be repaid the equivalent of a month's travel for the extraordinary disruption they have suffered, the Government announced today (Friday 2 December).
More than 84,000 passengers will be compensated to recognise the particular hardship of suffering long delays, cancellations, and disruption in recent months.
This disruption is due to a number of causes including Network Rail track failures, engineering works, unacceptably poor performance by the operator, and industrial disputes, Government ministers claimed.
Season ticket holders will be able to claim a refund for the equivalent of a month’s (four weeks) travel. That means an annual season ticket holder will be able to claim a refund against their 2016 ticket, which can be paid directly into their bank account.
This is a one-off compensation payment and is in addition to the improved ‘Delay Repay 15’ compensation scheme, which will lower the threshold for compensation after delays from 30 to 15 minutes from December 11.
Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemptown, said: “I am absolutely on the side of hard-pressed commuters in Brighton Kemptown & Peacehaven and continue to urge the unions and the company to do all they can to resolve this dispute.”
Meanwhile Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas said on Twitter: “Bit of good news - so glad our campaigns for compensation, including 15 minute delay repay, finally paid off - now strip franchise.”
Rail Minister Paul Maynard added: “Getting Southern rail services back on track is a priority for the government and I know that what passengers want most is a reliable service. But when things do go wrong it is right that we compensate people who have not had the service that they deserve. This is a gesture in recognition of the problems people have faced.
“We’re working hard to get Network Rail and Southern to improve this network and get this railway working the way people expect. We are investing record amounts in improving our railways and we need everyone in the rail industry, including the unions, to work together to deliver for passengers.
“In addition from next week (December 11) passengers will be able to claim compensation if their train is more than 15 minutes late. This is a major improvement for passengers.”
GTR has the details of most season ticket holders who will have given their details when purchasing their tickets. It will be inviting them to log into a website to claim compensation - which can be transferred directly to their bank account or claimed as vouchers.
Customers claiming against quarterly, monthly or weekly tickets must have bought travel for at least 12 weeks between April 24 and December 31 to be eligible.
GTR will also be able to consider proof of purchase from people claiming this compensation who are not registered with the company.
Under the separate scheme ‘Delay Repay 15’, GTR passengers will be able to claim 25 per cent of the cost of the single fare for delays between 15 and 29 minutes, with passengers able to apply for compensation through the train operating company.
The existing ‘Delay Repay’ thresholds are as follows:
· 50 per cent of the single fare for delays of 30 to 59 minutes,
· 100 per cent of the single fare for delays of 60 minutes or more,
· 100 per cent of the return fare for delays of two hours or more.
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