Rail passengers will soon be able to claim compensation if their train is more than 15 minutes late.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has introduced a new compensation scheme - Delay Repay 15 - which will be launched on Govia Thameslink Railway services, including Southern, within the next few months, and then rolled out across the rest of the country. At the moment, passengers can only demand a repayment if their train has been delayed by 30 minutes or more.
Passengers will be able to claim 25 per cent of the cost of the single fare for delays between 15 and 29 minutes. The existing compensation thresholds will apply for delays from 30 minutes with passengers able to apply for compensation through the train operating company. Rules introduced last year made it possible for passengers to claim their compensation in cash, rather than vouchers.
"We recognise that, above all else, passengers want a reliable train service, but when things do go wrong it is vital that they are compensated fairly," said transport secretary Chris Grayling.
"Delay Repay 15 is a major improvement for passengers and we are working with train companies to make it as easy as possible for passengers to claim their rightful compensation.
"Together with the Consumer Rights Act, this policy shows we are putting passengers first and making sure they receive due compensation for poor service."
The news comes as commuters face another day of delays and disruption amid the Southern rail strikes, ongoing since Tuesday. Talks aimed at bringing the industrial action to an end broke down yesterday with no agreement reached.