By Lucy Caulkett-
Passengers on Northern transport lines will be eligible for enhanced compensation for train delays from this December , rail minister Jo Johnson announced today.
Johnson attended the Transport for the North board in Sheffield, where he unveiled plans by the operator to extend the existing ‘Delay Repay’ compensation scheme to include delays of 15 minutes – known as DR15 — and longer. The new plans are an expression of the government’s commitment to run trains as punctually as possible, and compensate passengers for late train arrivals.
Currently, passengers can claim compensation if their train is at least 30 minutes late. However, from the end of this year, the extended scheme will allow claims for delays of half that, meaning passengers delayed by between 15 and 29 minutes will be able to claim back compensation worth 25% of the single fare. Compensation schemes of this kind already exists in some South Western Transport Networks. Railway delays can be very disruptive and annoying and have occurred on several on many parts of the British Transport Network, although train timing on most of British Transport is reliable.
Department for Transport and Transport for the North, together under the rail north partnership, are working with Northern to finalize commercial terms before implementation. T
Mr Johnson said:
”Passengers deserve a reliable train service, and when things do go wrong it is vital that they are compensated fairly.
Extending ‘Delay Repay’ to cover 15 minute delays is a major boost for Northern passengers and we are committed to working with train companies across the network to make it as easy as possible for passengers to claim their rightful compensation.
We are investing in the biggest rail modernization programe since Victorian times to deliver the improvements that passengers want – more space, and faster, more frequent services. Improving compensation for delays is a key part of this”.
Mark Powles, Commercial Director, Northern said:
We welcome the introduction of ‘Delay Repay 15’ later this year. We are putting in place the right measures to make it as easy as possible for our customers to claim compensation for delays to their services.
David Hoggarth, Strategic Rail Director for Transport for the North, said:
This will be a welcome step forward for passengers who are inconvenienced by delays and is in addition to the previously announced special industry compensation package for those most disrupted by the May timetable changes. Our focus remains on ensuring the train operators and Network Rail continue to improve performance for passengers.
‘Delay Repay’ already exists on most train franchises, including Northern, for delays of 30 minutes, 60 minutes and 2 hours or more.
DR15 was first introduced on GTR in 2016 and is being rolled out across all other DfT franchises as contracts come up for renewal.
DfT is working with other train operators to implement DR15 at the earliest opportunity. The extension to DR15 comes on top of the compensation package announced for Northern and TransPennine Express passengers who experienced unacceptable disruption following the timetable changes earlier in the summer.