Virgin passengers to receive compensation for delayed trains

Picture by: Martin Keene / PA Archive/Press Association Images.
Picture by: Martin Keene / PA Archive/Press Association Images.

Delayed Virgin Train passengers will be offered compensation in the form of a cheque as the default option rather than travel vouchers.

The policy, which will apply on the east and west coast routes, is the latest attempt by the company to improve its response to disrupted journeys.

In October the firm launched a system whereby West coast travellers who buy Advance tickets through its website receive money directly on to their payment cards if they are entitled to compensation.

New arrangements came into effect in July last year meaning all rail passengers can request to receive their pay out in cash.

Graham Leech, group commercial director at Virgin Trains, said: “We always want to be on the side of passengers. That’s why we wholly support the move to offer cash compensation as a first option to customers and why we were the first operator to introduce automatic delay repay.”

Some five per cent of trains run by the operator were either cancelled, at least 30 minutes late or missed a scheduled stop in the 12 months to March 5, according to Network Rail figures.

The average for rail firms across England and Wales is 3 per cent.

Mr Leech, Virgin Trains’ group commercial director added: “We’re committed to making claiming compensation simpler and clearer for customers.

“We never want passengers to suffer delays or disruption but when things do go wrong we want to put it right.”

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd added: “Passengers are rightly frustrated by the significant barriers that exist when claiming compensation for train delays and cancellations, so it is good to see Virgin Trains setting the pace by offering cash as the default option for compensation. We would urge all train operating companies to act quickly to implement this, and further changes, to improve the process for their customers.”

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