Passengers suffering through the timetable chaos in northern England have had their family lives, work, health and finances negatively affected by the huge disruptions, according to new research.
On May 20, Northern Trains and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) introduced a new timetable that resulted in hundreds of trains being cancelled or delayed.
On one day, almost 1,000 trains were either cancelled or late and, according Northern’s own performance measures, just 56.5% of trains have arrived at their destination on time since the timetable changes were introduced.
In many cases passengers have been left stranded on platforms.
My train hell, demand a better rail service.
Massive disruption is ruining lives
We asked passengers how this massive disruption affected their lives and almost half of those we surveyed told us the chaos had an adverse affect on their finances.
But 72% said they hadn’t been told by rail staff on the platform or train that they might be entitled to compensation.
In the survey, conducted this week, three in five respondents affected by the timetable changes said they have had a negative impact on both their work and family life.
And, nearly four in 10 said it had negatively affected their health.
‘It’s beyond a joke now’
From people left standing in train toilets, to fainting in crowded carriages, this is what #NorthernRail passengers faced this morning: https://t.co/VsaLfyGVgg@northernassist @AndyBurnhamGM #Northern pic.twitter.com/ry9w9a5sr5
— ITV Granada Reports (@GranadaReports) June 11, 2018
Nine in 10 respondents believed operators should have anticipated teething issues and had a process in place to automatically compensate delayed passengers, and that the government should do more to hold train companies to account for the failures.
This week, the Office and Rail and Road – the railways regulator – launched an independent inquiry into the timetable chaos.
Claim the money you’re owed
We’re calling for all passengers who bought their ticket by card or online to be refunded automatically.
If your train journey on GTR services – Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern and Gatwick Express – is delayed by 15 minutes or longer, you’re entitled to claim compensation.
And if your train journey on Northern is delayed by 30 minutes or more, you can claim compensation.
Under the Delay Repay scheme, the reason your train is delayed doesn’t matter. We can help you claim for free now.
You’re also entitled to claim for any additional losses you’ve experienced, like having to get a taxi because the last train home was cancelled. This is known as a consequential loss claim.
Train companies must be held to account
Which? managing director of public markets, Alex Hayman, said: ‘From start to finish, these timetable changes have proved to be a complete fiasco.
‘The changes have resulted in chaos for passengers, many of whom are finding it a real struggle to get to work on time or back home to their families in the evening.
‘Our research shows that passengers believe the consultation was inadequate, the delivery was bungled and the approach to compensation has been absolutely woeful.
‘The government needs to urgently sort out this farce. If they are to have any hope of restoring the faith of passengers, the compensation process should be immediate and automatic.’
We commissioned YouGov to conduct 2,003 online interviews with a nationally representative sample in Great Britain between 12 and 13 June.
Of those surveyed, 150 responded to say they were affected by the delays caused by the Northern Trains and Govia Thameslink Railway timetable changes.