Rail refunds

17 September 2013

Mick Whelan has slammed train operators for short-changing passengers over ticket refunds for late and cancelled services. ‘More than £100 million has “gone missing” because the system of refunds is blatantly rigged against the passenger,’ said Mick. ‘Operators get a refund from Network Rail when a train is five minutes late. But passengers only get money back if it is delayed by half an hour or more.’

The 18 privatised train operating companies pocketed £136 million last year from Network Rail. But they paid out less than £30 million to passengers – pocketing the difference!

‘News of this latest rip-off exposes the flaw at the heart of the privatisation of Britain’s rail network. A privatisation that has resulted in much higher fares for passengers, more overcrowded trains, much older rolling stock, and much less investment. The privatised rail companies take money out of the industry. It is time to bring the railways back into public ownership.’

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the rail watchdog Passenger Focus, added: ‘Passengers find it very difficult to understand why there is such a big difference between the amount paid to – and much smaller amount paid out by – the train companies.’

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