Labour call for automatic rail compensation for delays

SCOTRAIL SHOULD BE forced to automatically compensate customers for delayed journeys according to new plans being put forward by Scottish Labour.

The call comes as figures reveal Elgin suffered one of the lowest punctuality figures in the north east – 82.9%, underlining feedback from regular users of the link to Aberdeen and Inverness who say they have witnessed a major decline in the quality of service.

While ScotRail insist that nationally they are improving with 94% punctuality around the country, up from just over 91% a year ago, that is scant consolation for those using the vital Moray link. The rail carrier, however, points to work around Forres and Elgin stations as contributing to train delays on the line that, when complete, will see considerable advantages for travellers.

The changes to current compensation rules, which allow passengers to reclaim half their ticket price for single journeys if their train is delayed by between 30 and 59 minutes, need changing according to Labour.

They say that the situation where passengers must apply for compensation should end – and be replaced by an automatic scheme.

Scottish Labour transport spokesman Neil Bibby said: “Delayed trains are still a major problem on the ScotRail network despite improvements in recent months.

“Passengers have always been entitled to compensation – now we are going further and demanding that automatic compensation is introduced for passengers paying by card if their train is 30 minutes or more late.”