Passenger groups react to Thameslink extending compensation scheme to non-season ticket holders

PUBLISHED: 13:47 29 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:02 29 August 2018

Harpenden Train Station. Picture: DANNY LOO.

Harpenden Train Station. Picture: DANNY LOO.

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Govia Thameslink Railway has extended a compensation scheme to cover regular travellers who were affected by months of disruption.

The company (GTR), which runs services in St Albans, Harpenden and Radlett, has extended a compensation scheme for their season ticket holders to cover customers who use tickets such as carnet who were caught up in the disruption earlier this year.

Chief executive Patrick Verwer said: “We believe it is right to extend the compensation scheme beyond season ticket holders to other regular travellers.

“We are sorry for the disruption in the weeks that followed the May timetable change. Overall, the train services on Thameslink and Great Northern have been stable, more reliable and more frequent since the introduction of the interim timetable on July 15. We have also introduced 200 more services than before the May timetable change.”

Previously, the compensation scheme had only been open to commuters who used season tickets during the disruption, which originated in May with a botched timetable change.

GTR had come under increasing pressure from commuter groups and MPs to extend the compensation scheme to people who had also been affected, but had not bought season tickets.

Emily Ketchin of the Harpenden Thameslink Commuters’ Group said: “It’s good news Thameslink has finally accepted everyone who has to use their service deserves compensation for the chaos we have endured since May.

“However now they must also accept their original timetable, which slashed key Harpenden services by a third, is flawed and put in place measures to restore services withdrawn solely so Bedford passengers can have faster trains.”

St Albans Commuter & Passenger Action Group organiser Daisy Cooper said: “It’s a step in the right direction, but it does not go far enough. The amounts are paltry compared to the inconvenience that has been caused.

“We have done polls about the hidden costs of commuting and this compensation does not take into account extra childcare, taxis, school fines, any of these things which would normally be taken into account in any other industry.”

As well as the journey having been substantively spent on a GTR service, passengers must have began or ended their journey at a qualifying station. The qualifying stations locally are St Albans, Harpenden and Radlett.

Travellers must have evidence of three-day return travel in a seven-day week on a qualifying route between May 20 and June 28.

The date non-season ticket holders can make a claim online has yet to be confirmed. For more information on the scheme visit railcompensation.thameslinkrailway.com/faq

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