More trains cancelled! And on the same day that the rail companies detailed their inflation-busting price rises for next year. The average increase is 2.8% compared to the inflation rate of 2.1%. And, coincidentally, it was the same day that Southern Railway sent out vouchers to those who suffered appalling delays and cancellations due to storms and delays in October.
Every passenger delayed by the cancellations should claim for the disruption. Monday December 23 saw many train lines closing down for hours and on Christmas Eve they still have not going again.
The compensation paid for having no trains at all on the morning of October 28 until noon was £4.80. This is much less than the cost of a single journey, the replacement transport costs by bus or car (or the pay deducted for the hours of work missed).
The calculation was explained as follows: Annual train fare £1,284. The company reckons that season ticket holders make 10 journeys a week for all 52 weeks of the year and in addition they make a further 26 journeys – just for the fun of it – on their season ticket route. This makes 546 journeys a year.
I challenge the rail company to identify any traveller who works five days a week for 52 weeks of the year with no holidays or absence for illness, and who does not take any Bank Holidays off. they seem to be assuming that season ticket holders will travel on Christmas Day (when there are no trains).
Anyone working that many weeks is likely to be too exhausted to return to the place where they work for 26 fun trips.
While the rail companies get compensation from Network Rail for the shortest of delays caused by Network Rail, poor old passengers have to be delayed by more than 30 minutes to get a refund of 50% of their travel cost (based on the totally potty 546 journeys a year calculation).
So… fight back. the amounts may seem paltry but passengers should claim every time they are delayed. They should also detail all the costs that the delay has caused, whether it is parking costs, petrol, bus fares, or loss of wages.
And complain about the silly math. If nothing else we need to get rail companies to re-think the calculations they use for compensation so that represent the number of days typically worked – 235 days for those with four weeks’ holiday!