Kent

Southeastern trains: MP calls for more delay refunds

Southeastern train Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption Southeastern's rail franchise was renewed until 2018 in September

An MP is calling for Southeastern trains to pay compensation to passengers for delays of a few minutes.

Rehman Chishti said under franchise plans c2c was offering to start refunds for people in Essex if their trains were late by two minutes or more.

In parliament, he asked Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to encourage other operators, including Southeastern, to follow suit.

Southeastern said it would continue to pay for delays of 30 minutes or more.

Mr Chishti, who represents Gillingham and Rainham, said: "The refund proposal promised by c2c offers commuters a fairer deal than the current one offered in Medway, and I'd like my constituents to also benefit from such a scheme.

"I would like to see Southeastern take up a similar proposal so that hard working commuters in Gillingham and Rainham can be fully compensated for any delay."

In a statement, the rail firm added: "When a passenger's journey is delayed by more than 30 minutes they are able to claim compensation under the industry-wide delay repay scheme, which we are signed up to.

"During the current franchise period, which runs until June 2018, we'll continue to operate according to this scheme.

'Credit the money'

"Any proposal to adjust passenger compensation levels needs to be approved by government as it forms part of the funding arrangements for the franchise period."

A c2c spokesman said: "From 2016, we will be compensating passengers financially every time they are delayed for two minutes or more, for each subsequent minute they are delayed. It will be an automatic refund, of a few pence per minute's delay."

He said the company would use smart cards to track passengers' journeys and any delays.

"We'll credit the money to their online account that they register with us," he said.

"It means that season ticket holders will get a discount each time they renew their ticket."

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