Late train payout bill for Southern, Southeastern and First Capital Connect tops £2m (From The Argus)
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Late train payout bill for Southern, Southeastern and First Capital Connect tops £2m
The amount of compensation paid out by rail firms to train passengers delayed by late-running trains has increased by more than 50%.
First Capital Connect (FCC), Southern and Southeastern paid out a combined total of more than £2 million to compensate train passengers delayed by more than 30 minutes by late running trains in the last financial year.
The amount paid out by the county’s three main train companies increased by £700,000 from the £1.3m paid out in 2011/12.
Rail firms said the increase in compensation was because they were making it easier for passengers to claim and not because of more delays.
Southern paid out £805,000 in compensation in 2012/13 compared to £522,000 the year before while FCC paid out £722,000 compared to £637,000.
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Southeastern paid out £523,000 in 2012/13 and only £148,000 in 2011/12 having only joined the compensation scheme in July 2011.
Delayed passengers are entitled to 50% of their fare refunded if part of their journey is delayed between 30 and 59 minutes, 100% if they are delayed for longer.
The Argus asked each firm for the number of passengers receiving compensation and the number of customers making applications but was told that the information was not readily available.
Rail commuter Chris Barnard, 29, from Preston Road in Brighton, said: “I have never done it and I have never really seen it advertised how to.
“Sometimes after a big delay there might be an announcement telling you can claim but even then they don’t really tell you how.
“I think most commuters are resigned to the fact that getting the train will make you late, people just tend to tut and mumble under their breath.”
Roger Perkins from First Capital Connect said: “The Brighton mainline to London is one of the busiest routes in the country and, regrettably, our service is sometimes disrupted, chiefly by infrastructure problems such as signal failures which are outside our control. However, we operate a generous compensation scheme which we have made easier than ever to use.
“Passengers can now set up their details online at firstcapitalconnect.co.uk and make multiple and repeated claims using their account.”
A Southern spokesman said: “Southern paid out more this year in compensation compared to last year.
“We believe this is because more people are aware that they can claim compensation for every journey that is delayed by more than 30 minutes and the process for claiming for season ticket holders ismuch easier than it was under the terms of the old passenger charter.”
Passengers can make a claim by picking up a leaflet at any staffed stations or by downloading a formonline at the delay repay sections of the train operators’ website.
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