Calls for Thameslink-backed compensation scheme to cover carnet ticket holders after weeks of disruption

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 July 2018

Harpenden Train Station. Picture: DANNY LOO

Harpenden Train Station. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

A compensation package for commuters affected by the two-months of timetable disruption has been criticised for excluding day ticket holders.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) last week announced there would be up to four weeks’ compensation for season ticket holders following widespread cancellations, overcrowding and delays on their network caused by a timetable change in May.

But there would not be any for day ticket holders affected by the disruption, including people who buy packs of single tickets called carnet tickets.

The chair of the Association of Public Transport Users Neil Middleton said: “We have written to GTR to complain it’s very unfair they are not including carnet ticket holders as there are lots of people who travel on day tickets for work, education or other commitments and have had just as much pain as season ticket holders, so we feel they should be covered.”

Mr Middleton’s letter to GTR’s chief operating officer Nick Brown calls for the compensation scheme to cover anyone who can demonstrate regular travel over some or all of the last eight weeks when the disruption took place.

Day tickets not covered by the compensation include anytime, off-peak, Oyster pay-as-you-go, contactless, carnet and KeyGo cards.

St Albans commuter Gwen Henderson says she used her KeyGo four times a week during the disruption, but has only received £4 from the Delay Repay scheme, which is for GTR passengers delayed by over 15 minutes.

She said: “It’s a pittance compared to the amount of times I’ve sat on platforms.

“It’s not that hard a process, but it’s a case of waiting to see what you get. I know there were trains, especially when the timetable launched, that have been delayed that I never got repaid for.”

A GTR spokesperson said: “Season ticket holders, who purchased a ticket for a specific validity, have experienced lengthy periods of disruption.

“For those less regular or sporadic travellers buying daily tickets, they have a choice to obtain a refund if the service on that day does not meet their needs, unlike season ticket holders.

“In addition, Delay Repay compensation is payable against the full cost of the daily ticket’s price.”

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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