Written statement to Parliament

Rail update: Southern

Southern rail passengers to be repaid the equivalent of a month’s travel for the extraordinary disruption they have suffered.

The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP

My Department has previously announced that Delay Repay 15 will be introduced first on the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) franchise, and this will be available to customers from 11 December 2016. Passengers will be entitled to claim compensation if their train is delayed by 15 minutes or more, rather than 30 minutes as is now the case. This is recognised as one of the most generous compensation schemes in Europe, and this change means an even better deal for passengers. ‘Delay Repay 15’ will be included in the specification for all new franchises in future.

Southern passengers have suffered from unprecedented and sustained disruption to their journeys during 2016 through a combination of factors, including RMT industrial action, track and signal failures, and operator poor performance. In recognition of this unprecedented disruption, passengers will be able to claim one payment against their 2016 season tickets from early next year. This one off compensation scheme recognises that passengers have suffered, and demonstrates that the government is on their side. This will be administered by GTR.

Passengers with a Brighton to London annual season ticket, for example, will get £371 back. Quarterly, regular monthly and weekly season ticket holders will also qualify for a one off compensation payment.

Annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly season ticket holders using any Southern routes will be able to claim through the following process:

  • in early January 2017, Southern will contact all customers on its database it believes qualify for a refund to confirm the amount due and the method of payment
  • pre-identified customers will need to login to a web portal to provide bank details, credit card details or web account details
  • customers do not need to contact Southern directly at this stage
  • after customers who have been pre-identified have been contacted a web portal will be made available allowing:
    • pre-identified customers to confirm the method of payment they wish to use
    • customers who believe they qualify to provide details for Southern to check and, if appropriate, make payment
Published 2 December 2016