ORR have finalised a new license condition for rail operators to make it easier for passengers to claim compensation for delays in train services
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) states that rail operators must act in accordance with the condition by April 2022.
The license condition will require compliance with a new Delay Compensation Code of Practice, which will give passengers clear details about their compensation entitlements before and during their journeys.
Improvements will also be made by train companies in how compensation claims for delays in services are processed and will see data published on how well they fulfil their obligations.
April 2022 will see:
- A simplified claims process must be in place to make it easy for passengers to submit claims for delay compensation.
- Clear and accurate information must be available to passengers on their rights to claim delay compensation – during the booking stage, online and in stations.
- In the case of a delay, train companies must inform passengers via in-train or on-platform announcements and electronic notifications of their rights to claim.
- Train companies will have 20 working days to process claims and, if rejected, give passengers clear justification and details about how to contest the decision.
The new Delay Compensation Code of Practice will see the ‘compensation gap’ begin to close for those who are able to claim compensation and those that actually make a claim.
During the 2019 to 2020 period, only 37% of passengers entitled to compensation put in a claim and this figure has remained unchanged in recent years. People not claiming when they are eligible is due to many passengers being unaware that they are able to claim for delayed trains or because of uncertainty due to train companies’ over-complicated compensation schemes and application processes.
Stephanie Tobyn, deputy director for consumers at ORR said:
“All train companies have now agreed to these new requirements, so the process for making a delay compensation claim will be a whole lot clearer for passengers. When things go wrong, passengers will now have a clear understanding of the eligibility criteria for making a claim, the levels of payment, methods to claim, what information they will need to provide, timescales, payment options and how to contest a rejection.”