MP backs Which?'s calls for automatic compensation for passengers


With passengers losing almost four million hours to significantly delayed train journeys in 2018, Ben Lake MP is backing a call for passengers to receive fully automatic compensation for delays and cancellations. 

Along with Which?, Ben Lake MP is demanding that the the government’s rail review ensures that simpler and easier compensation processes are introduced across the network as soon as possible.

After a record year for disruption sent trust in the rail industry to new lows, the case for making compensation automatic has never been clearer. Currently passengers claim for only a third (34%) of journeys where money is owed for delays and cancellations.

Which?'s findings come as the rail industry rolls out its latest summer timetable which aims to introduce 1,000 extra services per week across the country - one year on from last year’s disastrous timetable chaos where disruption left the personal and professional lives of thousands of passengers in tatters. 

Ben Lake said:

“My constituents are rightly fed up with the unreliable service that they have received over the past year on the railways. Unprecedented levels of delays and cancellations have left them struggling to get to work, school or home on time. That’s why I’m backing Which?’s calls to introduce automatic compensation across the network.

“The Williams Review is a chance to overhaul the complex compensation system for passengers – so that when things do go wrong, at least they get the money they are owed.”

The staggering level of delays - 3,928,560 hours in total - relates to 8.1 million passenger journeys and meant around 80 trains per day were significantly delayed.  

A lamentable year for delays was matched by the results for cancellations, which averaged 660 per day (241,934 in total) in 2018 - also the highest number since comparable records began in 2011.

The damning findings demonstrate why, if the rail system is to start working for passengers, urgent action is needed to improve punctuality, reliability and compensation when things go wrong.  

Neena Bhati, Which? Head of Campaigns, said:  

“Passengers have faced a torrid time on the trains since the beginning of last year where the rail industry has fundamentally failed on punctuality and reliability. People then face a messy and complex compensation system which puts them off claiming when things go wrong.

“A vital way the government’s rail review and industry can start to restore faith is by introducing automatic compensation for delays and cancellations so that passengers don’t have to fight to get the money they are owed.”    

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