Rail companies to be fined for late-running services

Tuesday 24th November 2015

The Telegraph has reported that a penalty scheme is to be introduced which will hold rail operators responsible for late running trains and cancellations. A fine will be payable if services are late or cancelled but operators will be rewarded if punctuality targets are met.

The size of the fines and what they will be used for are to be determined.

The objectives are to improve passenger service and prevent operators from escaping fines by passing the blame to taxpayer-funded Network Rail, which operates the lines and maintains the track.

By the end of March 2019 the industry has been set a target for 92.6% of all services to run on time and the proposed new scheme could help to achieve this.

South West Trains will test the scheme in 2017, and if successful, the intention is to roll this out to other operators.

Other proposals being considered include compensation when on board wifi does not work and for customers to be given cash rather than vouchers as compensation when things go wrong.

Bryony Goldspink, a Solicitor in the Gordons’ employment law team, says “whilst we all welcome measures that could improve our train service (my own train having been cancelled this morning), these measures would put additional financial pressure on train operator budgets when many late running or cancelled trains are outside their control.”

The Telegraph article can be read here.

If you would like to discuss this article in further detail, please contact Bryony Goldspink, on 0113 227 0307 or at bryony.goldspink@gordonsllp.com.