Unclaimed train delay refunds give rail operators £169m boost

Ruth Doherty
£169m bonus for rail operators from unclaimed train delay refunds
£169m bonus for rail operators from unclaimed train delay refunds

Stock photo: PA

Thousands of commuters are reportedly failing to claim compensation for train delays - leaving rail operators with a whopping £169 million bonus.

Train companies receive £184 million a year from Network Rail for damages and disruption, such as track and signal failures, but it is thought that just £15 million is paid out to passengers in compensation for delays.

Operators do not have to reveal how much budget they allocate to passenger refunds but, according to the Metro, five companies told the Department of Transport they paid a total of £3.256 million to passengers. Based on these figure, all 23 operators would pay out a total of £15 million.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes told the paper: "The compensation scheme is little more than licensed larceny by the private train operators.

"The passenger gets mugged twice; first, when trains are delayed and then when train firms are paid compensation for that delay via taxpayer-funded Network Rail."

But rail operators insist unions have their "facts wrong" and say there is no direct link between sums they receive and give back to commuters.

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