Rail passengers lose 4 MILLION hours in delays in a year, with one in three not receiving compensation

RAIL passengers lost 3.9 million hours last year due to long delays, a watchdog revealed yesterday.

This relates to 8.1 million journeys being hit and means 80 trains every day were more than 29 minutes behind schedule.

A further 660 services were cancelled, the highest number in a year since records began in 2011.

The problems were blamed on last May’s chaotic timetable changes, plus weather, strikes and signalling.

But 36 per cent of passengers do not claim delay compensation when they are eligible.

Neena Bhati of Which?, the consumer group that looked at the network, said: “Passengers have faced a torrid time with the industry failing on punctuality and reliability. People then face a complex compensation system, which puts them off.”

The watchdog’s analysis of Office of Rail and Road data revealed London North Eastern Railway, and predecessor Virgin Trains East Coast, had the highest rate of significant delays, at five per cent of services.

Separate figures found cancellations by operator Northern saw trains not call at 258,266 scheduled stops in the past 12 months. Which? called for automatic compensation — although the industry’s Rail Delivery Group said claims had risen by 80 per cent in two years.

The Government said autumn’s Rail Review was “focused on reforms to put passengers at the heart of the railway”.

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