Rail Passengers In The Dark On Compensation
Rail operators are not doing enough to inform passengers about the compensation they are entitled to, according to a report.
More than three-quarters of passengers are unaware of their compensation and refund rights when trains are delayed or cancelled, the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) study found.
The report, which questioned more than 1,100 rail users, found 74% of participants said train companies do "not very much" or "nothing at all" to proactively provide information about compensation when there are delays.
Some rail operators are known to hand out leaflets to passengers on delayed trains with information about how to claim money back but many users say this is not done enough.
The ORR survey also revealed that only 11% said they "always" or "usually" claimed compensation when delayed, with 15% saying they rarely claimed and 68% never claiming.
Most of the information about compensation is published on rail company websites but passengers who took part in the survey suggested more effective ways of raising awareness, such as posters at stations or information on the back of tickets.
John Larkinson, Director of Economic Regulation at the ORR, said: "Fundamentally it's about making better information available, it's about improving the processes to make it easier for passengers to claim.
"If the train companies do improve their systems it will get better and we will see that coming through with more passengers claiming compensation."
The ORR is overseeing the development of a code of practice on provision of ticket retail information, which will be in place by the end of 2014.
The code will provide clarity on what information passengers can expect from their train companies, including information on the different types of fares, any restrictions that apply, and key terms and conditions, such as compensation and refund rights.
Michael Roberts, director general of industry body the Rail Delivery Group, said: "Passengers can claim or find out about compensation on trains, at stations, online, through social media and via smartphone apps.
"But this research makes clear that there is more to be done to ensure that passengers know their rights."
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