The rail regulator has revealed approximately three million compensation claims were made between April and Mid-October last year.
Figures from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) highlight the plight of passengers who had to endure severely disrupted services in the second half of last year – something that impacted businesses and the economy.
It stemmed from timetable changes made in May 2018, which resulted in delayed and cancelled services. It accelerated investigations by the ORR to ascertain why such chaos ensued.
This found that the needs of passengers were not made a priority – something that the industry has promised to correct in the future.
The disruption caused meant there was also an increase in compensation claims, with passengers of Northern, TransPennine Express and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) particularly affected.
In the case of GTR, more than one million compensation claims were received; however, the rail operator did succeed in resolving the claims extremely quickly.
The national average of closing compensation claims within 20 working days is 92%; GTR managed to close 99.99% of its claims within those days.
Greater Anglia (99.7%) and Southeastern (100%) also closed claims above the national average.
Of the three million claims made, 84% of these were approved, and 92% were closed within the stated 20 working days.
Overall, the majority of train operators were above the national average in closing claims.
There were, unfortunately, exceptions to this though; TransPennine Express (45.7%) and Hull Trains (31.8%) fell well below expectations, and although Great Western Railway has now improved its processing rate, it only closed 76% of claims in the targeted time.
Stephanie Tobyn is the Deputy Director, Consumers at ORR. She said: “This is the first time ORR has published data on the important area of delay compensation.
“Passengers have rightly made claims for these journeys and it is good to see that train companies, in the main, are responding to these promptly.
“ORR will be meeting with all train companies later this month to review the current timescales for compensation claims, particularly where these are below target.”