With more than 20 million cars expected on the roads and over 200 rail engineering works taking place this Easter, if you’re looking to get away this weekend, expect things to be busy…
In the run-up to the last Easter bank holiday, I spent a good deal of time and energy stressing about how I was going to get from where I live in London to my parents’ house in the North East.
Would it be better to drive, take the train, or even fly?
Weighing up the options, the main thing that crossed my mind was the sense that it would be a total nightmare – I’d be caught in travel chaos whichever form of transport I chose. According to the tabloids, Armageddon awaits anyone who dares to venture outside their own front door.
Too often, rather than being a glorious four-day weekend that sees you setting out across the rolling green of Britain to see family or friends, our bank holidays end up in travel hell.
And if you’re travelling by rail, this feels particularly like it’s the case, with 50.9 million passenger journeys either cancelled or significantly late in the past 12 months.
This weekend alone, there will be more than 200 rail engineering works taking place. So, if things do go wrong on your train journey, can you expect the company you’re travelling with to do enough to help put it right?
Well, we’d all like to think so – especially so when our Easter plans rely on a working train network! Sadly, our railways are plagued by delays, cancellations, overcrowding and poor train conditions – and that is exactly why we’re campaigning to demand better rail services.
In our latest surveys, only 17% of leisure travellers who’ve been delayed remembered their train operator informing them of their right to compensation as a result of a delay.
And we’ve found that only a third (33%) of passengers who may have been entitled to compensation said they actually made a claim.
The main reasons cited by those who chose not to make one was that they didn’t know how, or thought it was too difficult and/or time-consuming.
Of those passengers that did make a claim, one in five reported that they found doing so difficult.
Of course, we hope that things don’t go wrong for any of you travelling by rail this weekend, but if they do, remember you have a number of important rights.
In October 2016 we hailed a ‘win’ for rail passengers as the Consumer Rights Act was extended to cover rail travel. This means that your train company must provide you a service with ‘reasonable care and skill’ and any written or verbal information is binding if you’ve relied on it for your plans.
If you do get delayed, be sure to claim compensation, our rail compensation tool can help you make a claim. By claiming you’re helping to keep up the pressure on train companies to improve their services.
If your train company is signed up to the Delay Repay scheme, you may be able to claim 50% of the ticket cost back if your train half an hour late, and the full price if it’s delayed by over an hour.
So will you be taking the train anywhere this Easter weekend? Are you concerned about being delayed at all? If you were delayed on a train would you claim compensation?