Hundreds of thousands of Southern Rail passengers could miss out on compensation for poor service, new analysis has revealed. A government scheme to compensate passengers who have experienced delays, cancellations, and disruptions, only applies to season ticket holders and some travelcard users.
It is estimated that the vast majority of passengers will be ineligible because they paid for their fares using contactless or Oyster Pay As You Go (PAYG). Local Labour Assembly Member Leonie Cooper said their exclusion was “totally insulting” and called on the government to extend the scheme to all passengers.
Last December the government announced it would award compensation Southern passengers following months of travel chaos caused by track failures, engineering works, and “unacceptably poor performance”. Yet passengers using day tickets, contactless, or Oyster PAYG, do not qualify for the scheme. The Department for Transport estimates that over 300,000 people travel on Southern services every day – fewer than 90,000 of those were identified as being eligible for government compensation.
Southern started the process of contacting season ticket holders in mid-January. Passengers who have bought weekly, monthly, or quarterly tickets are also eligible, but must prove that they bought travel for at least 12 weeks. TfL data estimates that around 147,000 travelcard users alone could be eligible. Ms Cooper has called on Southern to identify registered TfL travelcard holders and contact them to advise that they may qualify for compensation.