Our Delay Repay system for rail travel is the most generous in Europe.

Some travellers complain, but in terms of what mainland European operators offer for delays UK rail is far more generous.

However many rail travellers are not aware of their rights or cannot be bothered to request compensation something which Transport Focus (the government’s watchdog) laments.

Now rail regulator ORR (The Office for Rail and Road) wants train firms to comply with a set of new rules from April.

ORR wants train firms to:

  • Simplify the claims process
  • Provide clear and accurate information to travellers
  • Process claims within 20 working days

From experience I have found Delay Repay varies between the operators.

For example if LNER suffers a delay onboard staff continually inform passengers of their rights.

By contrast onboard staff of some other operators may make no onboard announcements relying on social media or station announcements to do their job.

But the latter is not perfect as announcements can be drowned out by station noise.

It remains to be seen how the operators will react. This is not a happy time for UK rail. On many lines passenger numbers remain below their pre-pandemic levels.

In addition the Treasury is tired of funding the current network to the tune of £17 billion and is demanding economies.

Check this link to an article by rail author Christian Wolmar explaining the current situation in detail.

Indeed while I was writing this piece news has come through that the rail cuts in the North (made during the pandemic) may become permanent.

On top of all that the rail unions are threatening strike action should there be job losses.

Changes to the Delay Repay system comes as the UK government this week unveiled plans to create a fairer compensation model for delayed domestic UK flights, based on that currently available to rail and ferry customers.

UK government unveils planned changes to airline passenger rights