SOUTHERN: NO COMPENSATION FOR PASSENGERS PAYING BY CONTACTLESS CARD, MP TOLD

SOUTHERN: NO COMPENSATION FOR PASSENGERS PAYING BY CONTACTLESS CARD, MP TOLD
 
Southern Rail passengers who pay for their journeys by contactless cards are NOT eligible to claim compensation.

Croydon North MP Steve Reed, who is shadow minister for culture, media and sport, in a series of written questions to Paul Maynard Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) had asked whether the Southern Rail compensation scheme announced by his department on 2 December 2016 extends to passengers who use contactless cards to travel.

But Mr Maynard replied: “As we announced in December, Southern’s season ticket holders are able to claim a refund for the equivalent of a month’s (four weeks) travel.

Passengers who pay for their journey by contactless cards (i.e. credit/debit cards) are not season ticket holders and therefore are not eligible to claim under this scheme. However, the majority of commuters on Southern are season ticket holders.

Passengers using contactless card, and those who purchase day tickets, can claim through the Delay Repay system, which was enhanced on the whole of GTR from 11 December to Delay Repay 15.

Mr Reed also asked Mr Maynard if he would publish his department’s cost-benefit analysis of the Mayor of London’s business case for devolution of rail services to Transport for London.

Mr Maynard, responding,  said: “Departments do not routinely publish internal policy advice and related analysis.

“Our analysis highlighted a number of uncertainties in the business case particularly around the operational risks associated with splitting the franchise, and around the benefits that were being claimed.

“We believe that partnership is the best way to deliver benefits for all passengers and this is what we have offered Transport for London and Kent county council.”

RESPONDING to reports that the Transport Secretary blocked rail devolution to keep trains out of a Labour Mayor’s control, Labour London Assembly member Andrew Dismore said:

“It’s the greatest shame for passengers that the minister’s political point scoring has seemingly taken precedence over their needs.

“The fact remains that where TfL have managed services, we’ve seen some of the best performances. “If allowing TfL to manage suburban rail franchises will mean paying passengers get better, more reliable services, then we need to move passed this pettiness and make it happen.”

Andrew Dismore is the London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden

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