[N]orthern has announced full details of its additional compensation scheme for customers who have recently experienced delays and cancellations.
The scheme, which is over and above the existing Delay Repay offer and has been developed between the Department for Transport and Transport for the North, will provide compensation to Northern customers on certain specified routes where more than five percent of trains have been cancelled or seriously delayed.
David Brown, Managing Director at Northern said: “During the past few months many of our customers have not had the quality of service they expect. We are really sorry for this and it is only right that those season ticket customers should be compensated for the disruption they faced.
From 12 July season ticket holders who have travelled on routes which have seen most delays and cancellations will be able to submit their claims for compensation.
Northern has set two compensation levels, recognising that some customers faced disruption to their journeys prior to the introduction of new timetables on 20 May.
Those who hold season tickets and have faced significant disruption on certain specified routes between 1 April 2018 and 30 June 2018 will be able to claim compensation up to the equivalent of a month of travel.
Claimants will need to provide evidence of four weeks of travel during this period on the specified routes.
This disruption was caused by the delay to the electrification of the Blackpool to Preston line, which meant Northern had to carry out additional, unexpected training for more than 400 train drivers. As a result, some drivers were unavailable to operate train services, leading to significant disruption on a number of routes across the North West. Additionally, these routes were impacted by the May 20 timetable change.
Customers who hold season tickets and have faced significant disruption on certain specified routes since the timetables changed on 20 May 2018, there will be compensation to the equivalent of a week of travel.
Claimants will need to provide evidence of one week of travel during this period on the specified routes (including stations).
This disruption was caused as a result of the introduction of the new timetable on 20 May 2018.
David added: “Customers have been affected by a number of issues during the past few months, most notably the knock-on effects of the delay to the electrification of the Blackpool to Preston Line, delays to the electrification of the Manchester to Preston via Bolton line and, of course, the problems on some routes following the introduction of the May timetable. This compensation scheme aims to provide some recompense for those whose journeys have been impacted the most.
“Whilst the interim timetable we introduced on some routes has brought much needed stability and has delivered more certainty for our customers, we absolutely recognise the impact these issues have created, would like to apologise again, and assure all customers we are doing everything we can to improve services.”
Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “Rail passengers in the north of England have suffered months of cancellations and delays followed by the chaos of the May timetable change. While services have now stabilised, punctuality remains unacceptable and passengers will still be feeling raw.
“Passengers with season tickets in the areas covered by this scheme will welcome this long overdue cash compensation.
“It’s now vital that the train companies actively encourage passengers to claim, make it easy for them to do so, and process these swiftly once claims open.
“We still want to see meaningful compensation for regular passengers who don’t use a season ticket – such as part-time workers. We urge the Department for Transport, Transport for the North and train operators to recognise that unreliable timetables affect everyone, not just season ticket holders.
“While compensation is vital, it’s no substitute for the restoration of a full, reliable service as promised from the end of July. Since punctuality remains poor under the temporary timetable, we continue to press Northern and TransPennine Express to reduce the trigger for delay compensation from 30 to 15 minutes.”
To make a claim, customers will need to submit their claim via the Northern website by Wednesday, 19 September providing proof of travel for the relevant qualifying period.
How to claim
If customers are season ticket holders on one of the specified routes and want to make a claim, they can find full details on Northern’s website, as well as an online form that will guide them through the information they need to provide.
Claims will be open until Wednesday 19 September and customers will need to provide proof of travel such as copies of tickets or proof of payment. If they are unable to provide either, they should contact our dedicated customer support team on 03332 220 126 (from 8am Thursday 12 July) or [email protected] who will be able to provide help and advice.
Northern’s website features a full FAQ section to guide customers through the compensation scheme
Customers without season tickets should make a claim for delays and cancellations using the existing Delay Repay scheme.
Only one compensation claim either for Level 1 or Level 2, per customer is permitted.
Once customers have submitted a claim via the online form they aim to pay compensation within 20 days, using the customer’s chosen method of payment including debit/credit card refund, bank transfer or rail travel vouchers.
|Level 1 routes|
|Lakes Line (Oxenholme to Windermere)||Liverpool Lime Street to Wigan|
|Lancaster to Morecambe/Heysham||Kirkby to Wigan|
|Preston to Barrow-in-Furness||Southport to Manchester (via Wigan)|
|Preston to Blackpool South||Manchester Piccadilly to Manchester Airport|
|Preston to Blackpool North||Hazel Grove to Manchester Piccadilly|
|Preston to Colne||Heaton Chapel to Manchester Piccadilly|
|Preston to Ormskirk||Manchester Victoria to Bolton|
|Preston to Bolton||Ellesmere Port to Manchester Victoria|
|Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester via Warrington Central||Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester via Newton le Willows|
|Clitheroe to Manchester|
|Level 2 routes|
|Carlisle to Barrow-in-Furness||Leeds to York via Cross Gates|
|Settle to Lancaster||Leeds to Selby|
|Chester to Manchester via Altrincham||Leeds to Nottingham via Barnsley|
|Crewe to Manchester via Stockport||Carlisle to Newcastle|
|Manchester to Stoke on Trent||Newcastle to Chathill|
|Manchester to Buxton||Newcastle to Saltburn via Durham Coast|
|Manchester Victoria to Burnley Manchester Road||Manchester Victoria to Bradford/Leeds via Huddersfield and Halifax|
|Manchester Victoria to Leeds via Rochdale||Barton-on-Humber to Cleethorpes|