ScotRail under renewed attack over compensation failures

Abellio under renewed attack over their handling of rail franchise.
Abellio under renewed attack over their handling of rail franchise.

REGULAR RAIL PASSENGERS on the Aberdeen to Inverness route through Moray are joining thousands in demanding more action from ScotRail Abellio over compensation.

It has been revealed that the rail franchise operator received £16million in compensation from Network Rail for delays caused to work Scotland’s rail network.

However, Abellio have refused to reveal how much of that had been passed on to passengers in the form of compensation for delays or cancellations – claiming such figures are ‘commercially confidential’ despite the same company published similar figures a year ago for their Greater Anglia services.

Passengers are entitled to claim compensation where their journey has been delayed by 30 minutes or more, with around 50% of their fair refunded, or the full cost where the delay is over an hour. However, few will bother to claim compensation because they are not aware it is available or how to claim it.

Highlighting the issue is Scottish Labour transport spokesman Neil Bibby said: “ScotRail get millions of pounds in compensation from Network Rail but it is concerning that we do not know how much goes to passengers.

“What we do know is that only a third of passengers who are entitled to a payout make a claim – ScotRail need to be more transparent and better at making sure passengers know their rights and get the compensation they deserve.”

Mr Bibby added that with the current unprecedented disruption on the network “it is clear passengers do not feel they are getting a fair deal”, adding: “Much more has to be done to make sure they are properly compensated and that the travelling public has confidence in the Delay Repay scheme.”

A ScotRail Alliance spokesman insisted that the network was undergoing its “biggest period of transformation in our railway since the Victorian era”, adding: “Sometimes things go wrong and people face disruption. When this happens we make sure that our customers understand what they are entitled to in terms of compensation.

“In fact, just last month we announced a series of measures that make it even easier for people to make a claim.”

Last month figures revealed that less than half the trains arriving and leaving Elgin station were behind schedule, with delays and overcrowding on the line reported to be worse during the morning and evening rush hours.

Information on the refunds that can be claimed for delayed journeys is on the ScotRail Website.