The UK government has announced a one-off compensation scheme for season ticket holders with rail operator Southern, following months of delays, cancellations and disruption.
In a statement, the Department for Transport said that “Tens of thousands of Southern rail passengers are to be repaid the equivalent of a month’s travel for the extraordinary disruption they have suffered”.
The DfT said that “More than 84,000 passengers will be compensated to recognise the particular hardship of those who have suffered long delays, cancellations and disruption in recent months”.
It cites the disruption as having been caused by “a number of causes including Network Rail track failures, engineering works, unacceptably poor performance by the operator and the actions of the RMT union”.
Annual season ticket holders will be able to claim a refund for the equivalent of four weeks travel, which can be paid directly into their bank account.
The DfT said that “GTR, the parent company of Southern, has the details of most season ticket holders who will have given their details when purchasing their tickets”, and said that “It will be inviting them to log into a website to claim compensation – which can be transferred directly to their bank account or claimed as vouchers”.
Customers using quarterly, monthly or weekly tickets will also be able to claim refunds, providing they have bought travel for at least 12 weeks between April 24 and December 31, 2016.
Southern has posted the following request on its website regarding the claiming of compensation:
“Until the details are finalised, please don’t contact the Southern Customer Relations team as we will not be able to provide any more information at this stage.
“Further details will be made available online in due course.”
The one-off compensation payment is in addition to the Delay Repay scheme, which from December 11 will be extended to allow customers to claim back 25 per cent of the cost of a single fare for delays between 15 and 29 minutes.
Southern services continue to be disrupted by strike action being taken by two of the major rail unions, the RMT and Aslef. For the latest details, see the Southern website.
It was also announced today that rail fares across the UK will go up by an average of 2.3 per cent from January 2.