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Rail Complaints Ombudsman 'Gimmick' - Cortes

26 November 2018

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has dismissed as "a gimmick" the new Dispute Resolution Ombudsman for the railways, which has now come into force.

The Ombudsman is an independent body dealing primarily with disputes about delayed trains and passenger compensation. Rail passengers who are unhappy about how their complaints have been handled will be able to appeal directly using the service.

Figures for 2017-18 show more than £80m being paid out to the travelling public for delayed trains with this figure expected to rise significantly as a result of the timetable chaos in May across swathes of the network.

Commenting, Manuel Cortes said: “This gimmick won’t fool the public for a moment. It will do nothing whatsoever to resolve the real issues – namely the late running of trains, terrible overcrowding and a fares system designed to rip people off with sky-high prices.

“The Dispute Resolution Ombudsman is toothless in the face of a real crisis on the railways and it’s disgraceful of Rail Minister, Andrew Jones, to suggest otherwise.

“The only thing that will truly fix the mess is to give the public a rail system they can trust and that will only happen when the railways are back in public hands.

“The inescapable truth is a toothless ombudsman simply highlights again the failure of the private and fragmented rail system in our country.”

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