Demand for early end to compensation delay

Abergavenny Arms

Reforms to when Southeastern passengers can claim compensation for poor service should be fast-tracked, argues MP Greg Clark.

The government announced the ‘Delay Repay 15’ scheme last week, meaning customers will be able to claim back money if their train arrives 15 minutes late. Previously the minimum threshold was 30 minutes.

However, the policy is not expected to come into effect for Southeastern services until the franchise renewal in 2018, despite being introduced for Southern customers ‘within months’.

It will then feature on all other Govia Thames Railway (GTR) services: Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express.

Subsequently, it will be introduced into every franchise across the country, including Southeastern, and will be a requirement of all future rail franchise deals.

The MP for Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark, described the changes to Delay Repay as ‘good news’, but was left perplexed by the the slow implementation from the franchise.

“I don’t see why we should have to wait up to two years before it is introduced,” he said. “If Southern can introduce it within months, then so should Southeastern. I have asked their Managing Director, David Statham, to implement the new scheme without delay.”

In response to Mr Clark’s demands, a spokesman for Southeastern argued it was very much a question for Whitehall.

“If the government wishes to bring this new scheme in during our current contract, that would be a question of affordability for the government, and a matter for the Department for Transport.”

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