FirstGroup, which runs Avanti West Coast, Great Western Railway, South Western Railway and TransPennine Express and open-access operators Hull Trains and Lumo, self-reported the issue to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) after a recent audit identified the issue.
When a passenger submits a Delay Repay claim to the wrong train company, the claim should be redirected to the appropriate train company for processing.
An error with FirstGroup’s IT system meant this was not happening, affecting more than 53,000 delay compensation claims.
Britain’s rail regulator and FirstGroup worked together to understand what happened, ensure compliant processes were put in place, and to also make sure proposals to compensate passengers affected were adequate.
ORR reached an agreement with FirstGroup that means the operator has begun contacting all eligible passengers and will make a goodwill payment of at least £10 for the inconvenience.
Customers can be reassured they will be contacted by FirstGroup and do not need to take any action.
ORR is satisfied that the matter has now been resolved, and FirstGroup did not financially gain from the issue.
Jacqui Russell, Head of Consumers at the Office of Rail and Road, said:
A spokesperson for FirstGroup said:
Notes to editor
The Office of Rail and Road is the economic and safety regulator of Britain’s railway. ORR also holds National Highways to account for its performance and efficiency.
FirstGroup is a UK rail operator running all types of passenger rail; long-distance, commuter, regional and sleeper services. It operates four management fee-based train operating companies on behalf of the Government (Avanti West Coast, Great Western Railway, South Western Railway, TransPennine Express) and two open access operations, Hull Trains and Lumo.
The 53,000 Delay Repay claims affected equates to less than 2.5% of delay replay claims received by FirstGroup.
The goodwill payments are on a tiered system in proportion to the value of the original claim. For example, if the claim value was £10-50 passengers will receive a goodwill payment of £10, and if the claim value was £50-£100 passengers will receive a goodwill payment of £25.