ScotRail delay compensation bill tops £400,000 in six months, figures show

Delayed trains have cost ScotRail more than £400,000 in compensation in the first six months of the service’s nationalisation, figures show.

Commuters are entitled to make claims to the delay repay scheme when their train is delayed by 30 minutes or more
Commuters are entitled to make claims to the delay repay scheme when their train is delayed by 30 minutes or more

Commuters are entitled to make claims to the delay repay scheme when their train is delayed by 30 minutes or more.

ScotRail, which was nationalised by the Scottish Government in April, paid out £406,686 in total from April 1 to October 15, according to data obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats using freedom of information requests.

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The service has been plagued by disruption as rail staff walked out in disputes over pay.

Train drivers’ union Aslef resolved a wage row with the Scottish Government, but separate walkouts are planned as members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union demand an increase.

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Industrial action will begin on November 19 and will continue every Friday and Saturday in December until Christmas, the union has said.

Jill Reilly, the Lib Dem transport spokeswoman, said the extent of the compensation could be far higher if everyone applied for reimbursement.

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She said: “The Scottish Government took the rail contract away from Abellio because thousands of trains were regularly running late.

“In its first six months back in Government hands, the service has racked up more than £400,000 in payments to rail users for delays – and that’s only those who go through the process of applying for a refund.

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“There may be thousands more who have been similarly inconvenienced but not claimed.

“The Scottish Government need to tell taxpayers how much money has been set aside to meet delay repay payments and when they think they will have this under control.

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“Ministers are now directly responsible for the service that commuters and tourists get on our railway but so far they seem to be taking a hands-off approach.

“Commuters and rail users need a service they can rely on if we are to tempt people out of private cars.

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“For the good of the planet, the Government must ensure that all services are running once more and that the trains are arriving on time.”

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Any disruption to passengers is regrettable and it is only right that ScotRail do all they can to compensate where journeys are delayed or cancelled. The number of compensation cases paid out between April 1 to mid-August 2022 represents approximately 0.08% of over 23 million journeys made in the same period.

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“Rather than criticise ScotRail for past disruption, particularly when fault can lie elsewhere such as the recent Network Rail strikes, we are focused on ensuring the publicly-owned ScotRail is a success.”

Phil Campbell, ScotRail’s head of customer operations, said: We are absolutely committed to providing the best possible service for our customers and our Delay Repay Guarantee is at heart of that approach.

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“We know how much of an inconvenience it is to customers when things don’t go to plan, and it is only right that they are compensated when that happens.”

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