24 JUN 2011

1st July: Red letter day for rail passengers

The introduction of a new "delay-repay" compensation system for rail passengers which starts on Friday 1 July 2011 will be a "red letter day for rail passengers".

Greg Clark said:

"I am absolutely delighted that Southeastern has agreed to go ahead with this new compensation system. Rail passengers from Tunbridge Wells and High Brooms understandably feel they have had a very raw deal over the past few years so this will provide some very welcome relief.

"After the terrible problems experienced by rail passengers on the Tunbridge Wells line over the last winter, I met with the Managing Director of Southeastern, Charles Horton, in January to discuss concerns raised by constituents. The thing that most people complained about was the unfair compensation system for season ticket holders whereby they only received a 5% discount on renewal if performance targets were met.

"As these performance targets were based on the average performance across all of Southeastern's rail services, it meant that although the Tunbridge Wells lines experienced terrible delays, the better performing lines like High Speed 1 brought the average up above the trigger point for compensation.

"Passengers were understandably furious about this so I asked Southeastern's Managing Director whether he would consider changing the system to one used by many other UK rail companies called "Delay-Repay which provides immediate and automatic compensation. It's great news that they are going ahead with this on 1st July – it will be a red letter day for rail passengers."

Under the new Delay-Repay compensation system, season ticket holders will be entitled to a refund of 50% of the proportion of the fare for the journey if their overall journey is delayed by 30 minutes or more, and 100% of the single fare for delays of an hour or longer.

The new "Delay-repay" system will cover season ticket holders. Holders of daily and weekly tickets are already covered by the scheme. Compensation will be in the form of rail travel vouchers which can be offset against the cost of future season tickets.

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