Published: 11:02, 13 June 2019
| Updated: 13:15, 13 June 2019
For frustrated commuters missing meetings due to late trains, there is some good news.
A key rail service provider is introducing an improved compensation scheme and a number of other benefits.
Southeastern has today announced a 15-minute delay repay will be rolled out this autumn.
Currently, travellers are only compensated if trains are delayed for more than 30 minutes.
But soon, anyone who has to wait more than 15 minutes for their allotted time will received money back to make up for the inconvenience.
An upgraded website will be launched alongside Delay Repay 15, so claims can be submitted in half the time.
A new Best Fare Finder and enhancements to The Key smart ticket system will also be initiated, with single and return tickets available to purchase online for the first time.
These improvements are part of a short-term extension to the current Southeastern franchise, which has been agreed following the announcement by the Secretary of State for Transport on April 10.
Southeastern will continue to operate services until November 10, with an option to extend to April next year, allowing the Government more time to decide the winner of the next Southeastern franchise.
"This week has shown why Delay Repay 15 is so urgently needed, with train delays causing havoc..." Tom Tugendhat
A number of Kent MPs have shared their views on Delay Repay 15 coming to the county.
Mr Tugendhat said: "I am delighted Southeastern has followed my suggestion to introduce Delay Repay 15.
"This will give passengers well deserved compensation, as I have repeatedly called for, including in the House of Commons just a couple of weeks ago.
"This week has shown why Delay Repay 15 is so urgently needed, with train delays causing havoc.
"It is particularly important in towns like Tonbridge where journeys average around 45 minutes, so 15-minute delays are more common than 30-minute delays."
In a tweet, Tracey Crouch MP said how the scheme is very welcome following the franchise decision being delayed.
Greg Clark MP said: "I am very pleased to hear Delay Repay 15 will soon be available on Southeastern services.
"The current threshold of 30 minutes means passengers are not compensated at all for delays which can have a dramatic impact on their day – from being late to work to missing connections – so I hope the improved package will be rolled-out as quickly as possible.”
Helen Whately also seemed pleased about the annoucement.
She said: "Even short delays can be a huge inconvenience, so passengers should get compensationm, and in turn more trains should be on time."
Southeastern managing director, David Statham said: "I don’t want any of our passengers to be delayed, but if they are it’s really important we compensate them properly.
"That’s why I’m delighted to announce these improvements, which will make a real difference for people who experience shorter delays of between 15 and 30 minutes."