/ Travel & Leisure

Update: win! Rail passengers will be able to claim for 15 minute delays

Delay Repay

Millions of delayed rail passengers will benefit from a change to ‘Delay Repay’ compensation, with the announcement of a threshold move to offer rail ticket refunds for journeys delayed by 15 minutes. Will this help you?

In a win for our Make Rail Refunds Easier campaign, today the government has announced that it will finally act on its promise to improve compensation for delayed rail passengers.

Soon rail passengers will be entitled to claim 25% of the cost of a single fare for delays between 15 and 29 minutes.

Delay Repay

The existing compensation scheme for delayed rail services, so-called ‘Delay Repay’, only allows compensation for delays over 30 minutes with passengers able to claim for 50% of the single fare for a delay 30 to 59 minutes.

This should be especially welcome news for Southern passengers, who will be one of the first to benefit from the new ‘Delay Repay 15’ scheme within the next few months.

Rail passengers deserve to get the service they pay for. We’ve long been calling for additional compensation for Southern passengers, so this is the very least they can expect following the poor service they’ve received from the train company – all the while issues on Southern services remain unresolved.

Delay Repay 15 will be rolled out in stages, after Southern the scheme will then be introduced on South Western, West Midlands and South Eastern franchises, followed by rest of the country.

However, it’s uncertain as to how long the roll out will take. The government is looking into opportunities to introduce the new scheme before franchises are renewed; this means that passengers may only be eligible for 15 minute delay claims from train companies that are currently part of the ‘Delay Repay’ system.

Rail ticket refunds for poor rail services

The pressure is now on train companies to give passengers clear information on how to claim for delays as well as for poor service, which passengers are now also entitled to claim for under the Consumer Rights Act. We’ve created a free tool for you to use to help you claim for a poor train service.

Update: 24 August 2017

As previously mentioned, Southern passengers were the first to get Delay Repay 15 back in December 2016. Well, Southern’s owner, Govia Thameslink Railways (GTR), has now gone one step further to ease the process of claiming compensation.

GTR will be the first rail franchise owner to give compensation for 15 minutes automatically. It has introduced a system that automatically compensates passengers using a ‘smartcard’ for delays of 15 minutes or more. Passengers traveling on Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick express will also benefit from this.

So where one leads, others must follow…

This is great news for the select number of passengers travelling with smartcards on GTR lines, but what about everyone else? Claiming compensation should be easy for passengers and consistent across all train lines so passengers know their rights no matter which train company they travel with.

Do you want other train operators to introduce auto-compensation for 15 minute delays? How often are you delayed when travelling by train?


I would be interested to know how much the rail companies are willing to give back to travelcard (weekly/monthly or annual) holders. There has to be a fair share refunded across all travelcard and ticket types and not just to day single/return tickets.


As I understand it, refunds are made by way of a price adjustment on renewal of the travelcard or season ticket. If the ticket is not going to be renewed it can be sent in for a refund. Bear in mind that travelcards and season tickets are already discounted products so I wouldn’t want to raise expectations!


I quite agree.
GWR has had an appalling year.
As season ticket holder I have had no refunds or Void Days.
The ticket pricing seems to depend on something called PMAA all very mysterious and Incomprehensible.
Can anyone explain what PMAA is
I am very very very angry and cross with GWR

Thorrington Johnston says:
14 October 2016

Scotland too?


Yes this will be rolled out in Scotland too

Kremmen says:
14 October 2016

Unless I’ve misread the t’s & c’s this new 15 minute compensation applies to single and return ticket purchases.
What about season ticket holders who can’t put their ticket in the post to prove validity.
15 minutes on Great Western during the evening peak would cost them a fortune as the signalling is forever going wrong, especially during this Crossrail work.

julie says:
17 October 2016

I never thought about this, your right iv’e re-read the T& C’s . This must apply to all train users. We all need to be somewhere when using a trai, the end result should be the same for all.

Janis Dolan says:
17 October 2016

Yes, you are right to make this point. It is the season ticket holders who provide the companies with a set income, and they should be compensated too. The financial demands for lateness is supposed to be some sort of deterrent to encourage minimum delays, I expect, so this should urge the companies to make sure there are systems in place to make certain delays are minimal. We really don’t want to have to ask for compensation, because this means we are late for work, we don’t want to be late for work, or miss our connections, we want trains which run on time. If it is costing the companies not money at all for late trains, then there is no incentive to make it better.


You might not like to read this, but season ticket funded commuter travel is the most unprofitable part of the rail passenger market. As I have written above, so far as I am aware, pricing adjustments to season tickets are made on renewal based on the performance of the train company in the previous period taking account of the Public Performance Measure statistics which reflect delayed arrival times at destinations. This is far from perfect but is all there is at the moment. The new scheme should lead to automatic refunds to the ticket-holder’s bank account if they purchased their ticket on-line or using a debit or credit card at the station.

Mike B says:
19 October 2016

At Present as an annual season ticket holder travelling on South Eastern I can claim Delay Repay compensation like any other ticket holder. As far as I am aware the system of discounting renewed season tickets based on train company performance ended some years ago, it certainly has for my journeys. I think it would be very unfair to exclude Season Ticket holder from the new 15 minute delay compensation.


I agree with you, Mike. There is at present no consistency across the train operators over the terms and conditions of any compensation scheme they provide. I presume having a standard national scheme [especially for where two or more train companies share part of a route] will be one of the major benefits of this policy. Why it has taken so long to return to such a state of affairs beats me. When the railways were originally de-nationalised there was much talk by the government of preserving what were termed the ‘network benefits’ of a national system. Apart from a logo, some railcards, the design of the tickets, and some of the more abstruse and obscure national conditions of carriage, there aren’t many universal and consistent features left.


We were on a Scotrail sleeper from London to Inverness in July which broke down at Crewe and we had to dress and wait on the platform, in the middle of the night, for a morning train to take us to Edinburgh and then a further one to Inverness. Arrived home 7 hours late. Am still waiting for promised compensation! Is there a time limit on paying delay refunds?


Have you chased this up? What was the reason for all of this?