Compensation package for rail delays

Rail passengers who endured delays on the Norwich to London mainline last month are to receive special compensation in recognition of the difficult journeys they faced.

Rail passengers who endured delays on the Norwich to London mainline last month are to receive special compensation in recognition of the difficult journeys they faced.

National Express East Anglia was last night praised for the speed with which it announced the deal which will see customers holding season tickets from mainline stations between Norwich and Ingatestone in Essex receive compensation amount-ing to one week's free travel.

Thousands of travellers faced severe disruption between June 9 and 13 after overhead lines came down at Ingatestone and a freight train derailed between Colchester and Marks Tey.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of rail consumer watchdog Passenger Focus, welcomed the move.

He said: “The speed with which National Express East Anglia has announced this compensation package will be welcomed by passengers who faced delays and frustrated journeys in June.

“Network Rail has to compensate the train operator, National Express East Anglia, for causing the delays and we are very pleased to see this being passed on to passengers.

Most Read

“Too often money flows round the rail industry because of delays and passengers never see a penny.

“We also welcome the fact that season ticket holders will receive additional compensation over and above the 'delay-repay' system although we would suggest an option for passengers to receive a cash refund rather than a discount on their next ticket if they so choose.”

National Express East Anglia said the compensation would come in two parts: through the normal delay- repay compensation (equivalent to the number of delayed journeys incurred) and a discount of up to an additional four days travel per customer on renewal of their season ticket.

The company will write to season ticket holders later this month to advise them how to claim the additional compensation.

Customers without season tickets should apply for compensation through the delay-repay scheme.

Andrew Chivers, managing director of National Express East Anglia, said: “We are pleased to have agreed additional compensation for our customers following the incidents which affected mainline services between 9 and 13 June.

“We're continuing to work closely with Network Rail in reviewing these incidents and prioritising the key areas for improvement.

“We would like to apologise to our customers who experienced the disruptions, and will continue with our efforts to further increase service standards and avoid the type of incidents which have marred the otherwise-improving trends in performance.”

Patrick Hallgate, Network Rail route director, said: “Securing this compensation package for National Express customers was important and recognises the service they have recently received.

“I know people would prefer a better service rather than compen-sation and that is why we are investing hundreds of millions of pounds in improving our infrastructure and making it more reliable.”

The special compensation will be available to customers holding season tickets of a month duration or longer from mainline stations between Ingatestone and Norwich, and whose journeys were disrupted from June 9 to 13.

Customers holding seven-day season tickets and other types of ticket who travelled during that period will be able to claim compensation under the delay-repay scheme.

The special compensation will not apply to any Transport for London added element of a customer's season ticket.