Press releases

Rail regulator review shows improvements to delay compensation claim process, but improved messaging required on how and when to claim

29 June 2023
ORR’s first review of train companies’ handling of delay compensation shows that since the regulator’s Delay Compensation Code of Practice launched in April 2022, there has been improvement by most train companies in simplifying the process, but some train companies must do more to raise awareness of how and when to claim compensation.
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Paddington Station concourse

The regulator’s review shows that most train companies now process delay compensation claims they receive through an automated system, with these claims being resolved on average in just under three days compared to an average of five days for claims processed manually.

Overall, the percentage of claims approved increased in 2022/23 (up to 79.1% from 77.4% in 2021/22) and ORR has seen no evidence that the adoption of automatic processes is resulting in a significant change in the rejection rate.

ORR’s review showed some gaps in different train companies’ provision of information. ORR is reminding these companies of the need to ensure passengers can claim by post, and has asked them to improve their provision of information about delay compensation, whether that is by including a link to delay compensation information when tickets are purchased online, promoting delay compensation onboard trains, or keeping passengers informed of their performance on delay compensation including publishing information on key metrics.

ORR’s annual complaints statistics 2022/23, also published today, show that there were 346,758 complaints closed by train operators, an increase of 23% on the previous year. However, due to passenger journeys increasing by 46% in the same period, the number of complaints per 100,000 journeys is down 16% on the previous year. The most popular cause of complaints remain punctuality/reliability, sufficient space on trains and ticketing.

Stephanie Tobyn, ORR’s Director, strategy, policy and reform said:

“I am pleased to see that our code of practice has contributed to improving the process for claiming delay compensation and that the majority of train companies are taking their responsibilities seriously.

"It’s important that all train companies ensure that passengers understand their entitlement to claim compensation if their train is delayed, know how to do so and that the process itself is clear and effective.”