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Southeastern passengers 'want cash not vouchers'

Maidstone East Train Station, Southeastern
Maidstone East Train Station, Southeastern

by Jess Banham

The rail passengers' watchdog has called for Southeastern to give cash not vouchers if its "delay-repay" plan goes ahead.

New research by Passenger Focus, TravelWatch and transport company FirstGroup found train travellers want compensation in the same way they paid for their ticket.

The groups did a survey into how passengers would like to be compensated to try and improve current systems.

Passenger Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: "Paper vouchers have had their day - passengers want compensation in cash or back to their bank account or credit."

It follows yesterday's reports that long-suffering commuters in Kent could get compensation if their trains are late or cancelled.

Southeastern season ticket holders will be entitled to a refund of 50 per cent of the equivalent fare if their journey is delayed by 30 minutes or more, according to Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark.

Passengers whose trains are held up for an hour or longer would be paid the full single price fare, under the so-called "delay-repay" scheme.

Mr Clark said: "Rail passengers feel they have had a very raw deal over the past few years so this will provide some very welcome relief.

What do you think? Join the debate by adding your comments below
What do you think? Join the debate by adding your comments below

"During the terrible problems experienced by commuters over the winter, the thing that most people complained about was the unfair compensation scheme for season ticket holders, whereby they only received a five per cent discount on renewal if performance targets were met."

Southeastern would not confirm any details of the new scheme, thought will be introduced next Friday.

Passenger Focus will use their research as part of its submissions to government and the industry about future rail franchises.

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