RAIL PASSENGERS WILL be able to claim cash refunds as compensation for any suffering caused by travel delays.
Until now the only recompense hard done by passengers had was to receive vouchers against future travel – however, new arrangements coming into effect will see them being entitled to refunds for journeys that are delayed by at least 30 minutes.
The move has been welcomed by Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant, who said: “The move to pay compensation for delays in cash instead of vouchers will be welcome news for rail passengers across Scotland.
“Delays and cancellations on the line are a sadly too regular occurrence in the Highlands and Moray – this is an important step in the right direction from the industry towards treating customers who face delays more fairly.”
The MSP added that having been subjected to delays herself she can understand the frustration they case – adding that claiming compensation should always have been a straightforward and easy process.
She added: “The old voucher system deterred many people from claiming. I have heard one case where tourists were delayed and offered vouchers as compensation, which of course was of no use to them as they were travelling out of the country the following day.
“Cash refunds will encourage more people to claim and is a much more practical and fair alternative to vouchers.”
David Mapp, who is the commercial director at the Association of Train Operating Companies, said that compensation for delays had now “become increasingly generous and easy to apply for”.
He added: “Train operators and Network Rail are working hard together to make more trains run on time but when things do go wrong we want to put it right.”
The new compensation rules came into effect on Sunday.