From Sunday 20 May, the time of every single train on Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), Britain’s largest rail franchise, is set to change. Will you be affected?
This will affect passengers of Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink. The new timetable arrives as part of RailPlan2020, with GTR promising ‘enhanced frequency, reliability and connectivity across the network’.
But with such a huge shake-up to so many services, not everyone is expecting things to run smoothly when thousands of commuters descend on the network on Monday morning.
GTR is urging passengers to check the timetable before setting off to avoid getting caught out. On some routes, a ‘gradual introduction’ is taking place, meaning there won’t be a full service. Chief executive Charles Horton was recently quoted saying:
“Due to the sheer scale of the changes, we will have to redeploy a large number of trains and crews and services may not run at normal times during the introductory phase, although the impact on peak-time services during the transition will be minimal.”
While GTR is urging people to plan ahead, we’re urging passengers to make sure they’re aware of their rights to compensation should things go wrong.
The industry-wide National Rail Conditions of Travel were recently changed to recognise different routes to compensation — including the passengers’ right to to claim using the Consumer Rights Act.
GTR say will have extra staff on duty to help on Monday morning with huge timetable changes. Say if people no longer want to travel can get a refund.
— Tom Edwards (@BBCTomEdwards) May 16, 2018
Under the CRA, train companies must deliver their service with reasonable care and skill. Consumers can make a claim for compensation when they fail to do so, for example when passengers incur reasonable consequential losses as a result of having to make other arrangements when train services are delayed or cancelled and it is the train company’s fault.
Ask the experts
If you’ve suffered a recent rail delay/cancellation and aren’t sure if you can claim, we’re offering our independent advice live on Facebook at 3pm today.
Experienced a recent #RailFail but aren't quite sure of your rights to compensation?
Join us LIVE at 3pm on Friday for Ask the Experts when we'll be joined by consumer rights guru @thatadamFrench who'll be answering your train delay questions.
— Which? (@WhichUK) May 16, 2018
We’ve seen conflicting information from Train Operating Companies in the past with regards to the Consumer Rights Act and travel. I’ll be on hand to help clear up some of these myths, and help passengers get the compensation we know they’re entitled to.
Will you be affected by ‘the biggest timetable change ever’? Let us know what’s happened to your train in the comments, and if you’re planning on submitting a claim should you run into problems.