Delayed passengers paid £1.1m by ScotRail

ScotRail paid out more than £1.1 million in a passenger compensation scheme for delayed services over a year, figures show.

Refunds to delayed passengers increased in the year before the pandemic lockdown. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Refunds to delayed passengers increased in the year before the pandemic lockdown. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

A freedom of information request by the Scottish Liberal Democrats revealed the operator paid out £1,129,976.17 in 2019-20 – the year before lockdown.

That was up from £1,119,818 in 2018-19 and £647,670 in 2017-18.

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Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokeswoman Carole Ford said: “These eye-watering payouts are the product of endless delays on Scotland’s rail network in the year before the pandemic struck.

“The numbers speak of a pretty dismal performance on punctuality.

“This only scratches the surface.

"Many more people may have been entitled to compensation but the process isn’t automatic.

“While many people are missing their colleagues and the everyday workplace interactions, they don’t miss the cancellations, delays and kicking their heels on platforms.

“Scotland’s commuters and explorers just want a reliable and comfortable service.

“We need to make sure that as the pandemic draws to a close and people turn back to public transport, services are running efficiently.

“Cancellations and delays disrupt the journeys of thousands of passengers, damage our economy and put people off public transport when there is a climate emergency.

“In the time it has remaining in the current franchise, ScotRail must make swift moves to demonstrate it can finally deliver on its commitments.”

The Delay Repay scheme allows passengers to claim compensation of 50 per cent of the fare for journeys delayed by between 30 and 59 minutes, and 100 per cent for delays of 60 to 119 minutes.

It also allows claims for 100 per cent of the return fare for delays of 120 minutes or more.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Focusing on historic issues does a disservice to the very many staff who have delivered sustained progress over the last 12 months.

“Performance has not only improved – the last reporting period showed a record high in the public performance measurement (PPM) in comparison to the same period in previous years.

“ScotRail staff, both front line and behind the scenes, have shown throughout the pandemic that they can deliver improvement in challenging circumstances.

“We expect that focus will continue as we look towards transitioning out the pandemic in the future.

“Quite rightly, Delay Repay will remain available for passengers who are affected by disruptions or cancellations.”

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