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Rail firms £100 million refund bonanza

29 September 2014

Rail firms are accused today of acting "like a modern day Robin Hood in reverse" after the TSSA revealed they made over £100 million from a controversial passenger refund scheme last year.

While they were paid over £167 million for delays by the taxpayer funded Network Rail, they actually only paid out £22 million to passengers in refunds for late running and cancelled trains.

"These firms are acting like modern day Robin Hoods in reverse," protested union general secretary Manuel Cortes.

"For every eight pounds they got from the taxpayer, they only paid out £1 to passengers. They take from the poor traveller to make themselves even richer. Its the economics of the madhouse."

He called for passenger refunds to be fundamentally reformed "because the dice is loaded against passengers in favour of the private rail firms."

The firms automatically get compensation if a train is five minutes late while passengers can only claim a partial refund if a train is 30 minutes late and a full refund if it is one hour late.

"We have to stop this rip off and have a level playing field" added the union leader. "If the likes of billionaires like Sir Richard Branson at Virgin gets compensation when his trains run five minutes late, then so should his passengers.

"We are no longer living in the Downton Abbey era when the rich travelled first class and the poor travelled in third. We want a equal refund system which treats everyone the same."

Passenger Refunds for 2013/14

East Coast £7,654,000
Virgin £6,797,000
Southeastern £1,916,000
Southern £1,469,000
Greater Anglia £1,400,00
CrossCountry £1,212,000
FCC £ 692,000
East Midlands £ 674,000
London Midland £409,000

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