Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has welcomed the announcement that Greater Anglia have reached agreement with the Department for Transport (DfT) to introduce Delay Repay 15 (DR15) compensation from 1st April 2019.
This means that passengers will be able to claim back 25% of the single fare on journeys delayed by between 15 and 29 minutes, irrespective of the cause of the delay. Existing compensation arrangements already exist for delays of 30 minutes or over and latest punctuality figures for Greater Anglia stand at just over 90%.
Greater Anglia was determined to introduce DR15 as soon as possible after the Secretary of State for Transport announced, in October 2016, that DR15 should be rolled out to all rail franchises. In recent years, Greater Anglia has also taken positive steps to increase awareness of the customer compensation options available, make the claims process simpler and give customers more choice in the ways that they can receive their compensation. Customers can now claim compensation online, by email or by hard copy form. Compensation can also be transferred directly into your bank account, as a credit on your credit card, by voucher, Paypal or alternatively as a charitable donation. This latter option was introduced by Greater Anglia last summer, following feedback from customers and stakeholders, and has already raised over £8,000 for the Samaritans charity.
Greater Anglia is also investing £1.4bn to replace its train fleet, which will see over 1,00 new carriages being produced and in service across the network by the end of 2020. The new trains will allow the operator to run longer trains and provide more seats for passengers.
Rail Minister Andrew Jones said:
“Our top priority is ensuring passengers see the reliable and punctual services they expect, but when things do go wrong, it’s only right that they are compensated fairly and quickly. This is why the launch of DR15 on Greater Anglia is important news for passengers, providing them with better compensation if their services are delayed.”
Commenting on the introduction of Delay Repay 15 for Greater Anglia customers, Jamie Burles, Managing Director for Greater Anglia said:
“We’re delighted to be able to provide better compensation, with the launch of Delay Repay 15 from next month and we are sure it will be welcomed by our customers. We’ve worked in close partnership with the Department for Transport to offer this significant benefit during the existing franchise as soon as possible, meeting our customers’ aspirations to see this upgrade earlier than expected.
“It’s all part of a wider transformation of train service standards in East Anglia that sees us bringing in a complete fleet of brand-new trains across our entire network over the next two years, with the first new trains due in service later this year. We’re fully focused on improving punctuality and reliability, in collaboration with Network Rail, but customers will now be able to claim compensation for any delays of 15 minutes and over, when things do go wrong.”
Following the announcement, Giles said:
“As a regular rail traveller myself, I know that any delay is a frustration, and I am pleased that passengers will be able to access compensation quicker and easier. And I am also pleased at the progress Greater Anglia has made in improving their service – that is crucial here, quicker and easier compensation is good, but should never be needed in the first place.”