On 23 October 2007, European Regulation - EC Regulation 1371/2007 was introduced to deal with Rail Passengers’ Rights and Obligations and came into force in December 2009. The Regulations was created as part of the development of the Single Market and was designed to safeguard passengers’ rights and the quality of the transport. The Regulation however provides for Member States to exempt certain types of services, such as:
- Purely Domestic Services for three 5 year periods up to a maximum of 15 years;
- A permanent exemption for urban, suburban and regional services;
- Rail services that significantly operate outside the European Community can be exempted for 5 years and this can be renewed.
However, certain obligations and rights cannot be excluded, such as:
- Article 9 – Rules on ticketing;
- Article 11 – Liability to passengers & their luggage;
- Article 12 – Minimum level of Insurance for Railway Companies;
- Article 19 – The obligation to transport passengers with reduced mobility;
- Article 20 (1) – Information on the accessibility of rail services;
- Article 26 – Obligations on passengers’ personal security.
The Department for Transport has created a scheme which is applied by all train operators in the UK called ‘Delay Repay’. This scheme is designed to compensate the rail traveller who has been subjected to delays to their journey. A review of many of the schemes reveal that compensation can be claimed for all ticket types for delays of 30 minutes or more.
Compensation can range from 50% for single tickets to 100% for return tickets depending on the period of delay. It appears that all train companies allow you to make a claim online but you should do so within 28 days of the delay taking place.
In order to make sure that you are claiming correctly, it is strongly recommended that you visit the website belonging to the train company or speak to them via the booking office to make sure that you are using the correct claims procedure and timeframes as it is possible that each will have variances!