Crawley MP Henry Smith has welcomed the news that rail passengers will be able to claim compensation when trains are more than 15 minutes late.
This Government reform halves the amount of time a train must be delayed before passengers are eligible for compensation.
The revised scheme, known as Delay Repay 15, will be introduced within months for Southern Railway passengers, before being rolled out across the country.
Mr Smith said: “I welcome the Government taking action to make even more passengers eligible for compensation for delayed train journeys.
“This is an issue I have continued to raise with the Transport Secretary and the Rail Minister, Paul Maynard MP; including during the House of Commons debate I secured last month on Govia Thameslink Railway’s sub-standard service.
“Of course, this is just one remedy – in the long-term the service must be improved. What has been offered to Crawley commuters over the course of the last year has not been acceptable, and in addition to the poor service from GTR, the RMT union must stop taking advantage of passengers’ misery by engaging in industrial action.
“One of the issues highlighted at the public meeting I organised with GTR executives in August was that the existing compensation scheme did not sufficiently serve Crawley commuters – I will continue to monitor progress in this area over the coming months.”
Delay Repay 15 will be introduced within months on Govia Thameslink Railway services, including Southern Rail. 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 of more than half an hour, with passengers able to apply for compensation through the train operating company.
All franchise competitions let by the Department for Transport will include requirements to introduce this policy, and the Department will be looking into opportunities to roll this out for all DfT franchises up to 2020.
The existing Delay Repay thresholds are as follows:
50 per cent of the single fare for delays of 30 to 59 minutes
100 per cent of the single fare for delays of one hour or more
100 per cent of the return fare for delays of two hours or more
In addition to Delay Repay, the introduction of the Consumer Rights Act on 1st October strengthened the right of passengers to claim compensation for poor service.