Improving access to delay compensation – ORR's new licence condition

Date of publication

We have received licence holder consent for the new licence condition on delay compensation. We have therefore published notification of this licence change, which will come into force on the 1 April 2022.

In June 2020 we published an initial consultation on proposals for a delay compensation licence condition, designed to improve passenger access to delay compensation.

Following extensive industry engagement, and a second consultation in May 2021, we refined these proposals. Having taken stakeholder responses into account, we published our decision to modify passenger licences to include a condition on delay compensation in August 2021. 

At the same time we also published our statutory notification of licence change, requesting the written consent of affected licence and SNRP holders in order to make the relevant modifications. 

We have now received consent, and are now notifying licence holders, SNRP holders and other stakeholders of the change to licences, to include a new condition on delay compensation. The new licence condition will require operators to comply with a Delay Compensation Code of Practice. The new licence condition will come into effect on 1 April 2022.

We shall send a written copy of this notification to affected licence holders and SNRP holders, by email and post.

May 2021 consultation

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Date of publication: 14 May 2021
Closing date: 11 June 2021

In June 2020 we published an initial consultation on proposals for a delay compensation licence condition, designed to improve passenger access to delay compensation.

In the light of stakeholder responses to this consultation, and following extensive industry engagement, we have refined these proposals.

We now welcome stakeholder comments on the wording of the revised draft licence condition and delay compensation code of practice before proceeding further with implementation.

June 2020 consultation

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This work develops our 2016 response to a Which? super-complaint, where we first quantified the ‘compensation gap’. In 2019 we published recommendations to the Williams Review, setting out further recommendations that could help to close the compensation gap including a commitment to consult on a licence condition in this area.

Our proposals for this delay compensation code of practice are designed to tackle the key barriers: awareness and ease of process. We also set requirements on monitoring, reporting and continual improvement.

Lastly, the proposal includes provisions for the involvement of Third Party Intermediary firms (TPIs) in this area. We require train companies to receive claims for delay compensation that have been submitted via such firms, provided that the TPIs comply with the provisions of a TPI code that sets out appropriate standards for transparency, probity and protections against duplicate or fraudulent claims. This proposal builds on last year’s market review of TPI firms.

Publishing your response

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We plan to publish all responses to this consultation on our website.

Should you wish for any information that you provide to be treated as confidential, please be aware that this may be subject to publication, or release to other parties or to disclosure, in accordance with the access to information regimes. These regimes are primarily the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR,) the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Under the FOIA, there is a statutory code of practice with which public authorities must comply and which deals, amongst other things, with obligations of confidence. In view of this, if you are seeking confidentiality for information you are providing, please explain why. If we receive a request for disclosure of the information, we will take full account of your explanation, but we cannot give an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will not, of itself, be regarded as binding on ORR.

If you are seeking to make a response in confidence, we would also be grateful if you would annex any confidential information, or provide a non-confidential summary, so that we can publish the non-confidential aspects of your response.

Any personal data you provide to us will be used for the purposes of this consultation and will be handled in accordance with our privacy notice which sets out how we comply with the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018.


In responding to this consultation you consent to us:

  • handling your personal data for the purposes of this consultation;
  • publishing your response on our website (unless you have indicated to us that you wish for your response to be treated as confidential as set out above.)

Your consent to either of the above can be withdrawn at any time. Further information about how we handle your personal data and your rights is set out in our privacy notice.

Format of responses

So that we are able to apply web standards to content on our website, we would prefer that you email us your response either in Microsoft Word format or OpenDocument Text (.odt) format. ODT files have a fully open format and do not rely on any specific piece of software.

If you send us a PDF document, please:

  • create it directly from an electronic word-processed file using PDF creation software (rather than as a scanned image of a printout); and
  • ensure that the PDF's security method is set to no security in the document properties.