Following an evening of severe disruption caused by power outage and as severe weather affects rail services in several parts of the UK David Sidebottom, Director of independent transport user watchdog Transport Focus said today:
“ The severe disruption to services that followed power outages yesterday evening made routine journeys home or away for the weekend impossible for lots of rail passengers.
“ Transport Focus recognises the considerable efforts made in these extreme circumstances by all parts of the railway to ensure passengers were safe and to help those affected to complete essential journeys.
“Any passengers affected Any passengers who heeded advice not to travel should claim delay repay compensation in order to get their money back, including those using a season ticket.
“People whose journey was severely disrupted should also keep receipts for all unexpected costs that arose from their efforts to complete their journeys yesterday, and contact their train operator to claim not just for their delay but any additional expenses they incurred. “
Last month (22 July) Transport Focus’s launched Make Delay Pay– a campaign to
- raise passenger awareness of compensation for delayed and cancelled train journeys
- persuade more rail users to claim what they are entitled to
- ensure train operators streamline the claims process through easier online and automated systems.
Full information on how to claim from each rail operator can be found behind links listed on the campaign area of the Transport Focus website.
Recent extreme weather events have highlighted the need for clear and specific advice to passengers – including season ticket holders – about the compensation they can claim when train operators issue ‘Do Not Travel’ warnings for any reason, including bad weather and significant network failures.
Current wording in the Conditions of Travel is ambiguous, but Transport Focus argues that where train operating company instruct passengers ‘not to travel’ then season ticket holders (delayed in effect by two hours or more) should be entitled to claim for a ‘lost day’. Transport Focus also believes train operators should make a serious effort to tell season ticket holders this as a matter of course whenever the railway says, ‘do not travel’.
During soaring temperatures at the end of July, on behalf of season ticket passengers in the south east Transport Focus pressed to ensure Govia Thameslink Railway and others offered compensation for travel days lost.
Following heavy rains that threatened the reservoir above Whaley Bridge and disrupted services in the north the watchdog has made similar efforts to persuade TransPennine and Northern to better communicate to passengers what they will do for season ticket holders impacted by the closure of the rail routes between Manchester, Sheffield and Buxton.