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Rail firms must not short change passengers over delays

29 December 2014

Rail passengers must not be short changed over refunds for travel chaos over the weekend, a rail union warned today.

The "byzantine" rules over compensation for travellers must be waived to allow full refunds to thousands of passengers hit by disruption at two of London's busiest stations, said the TSSA.

"This is not the time for private rail firms to hide behind the usual byzantine rules covering refunds," said union general secretary Manuel Cortes.

"They will be paid millions for these delays by Network Rail and they must ensure that their frustrated passengers do not end up with just pennies after the horrendous delays of the past few days."

He also called on Ministers to scrap the current delay compensation scheme for private rail firms which last year saw them get £172 million from publicly owned NR while only refunding £10 million in refunds to passengers.

"It is high time for Patrick McLoughlin to act on a scheme which is rigged in favour of the rail firms against the interests of the passengers.

"They get compensation when their trains are a minute late but the poor old passenger has to be an hour late before he or she even qualifies for a full refund.

"Where is the fairness in that? As taxpayers, they are funding a casino where they always lose because the odds are already fixed against them."

He called on the Secretary of State to transfer responsibility for passenger refunds to Network Rail. Private rail firms were in no hurry to pay refunds out because it hit their bottom line.

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