In answer to a question lodged by Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Transport has admitted that Scotrail was forced to pay delayed passengers £1,119,818 in compensation, in 2018/19, up 72.8% from £647,670 in 2017/18.
The news follows reports by consumer watchdog Which?, that Scotrail is one of the most difficult rail companies in the UK for passengers to claim compensation from. With delayed customers expected to provide 24 separate pieces of information before the company will consider a claim.
The Scottish Government was unable to provide any details about how many customers, entitled to compensation through the Delay Repay Scheme, failed to make a successful claim.
Mr Rumbles said:
“It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that, after the worst performance record for over a decade, ScotRail was forced to pay out over £1 million in compensation last year. That is a huge increase on previous years.
“It is clear that the system is set up to deter people from claiming the money they are owed. I have no doubt that there will be thousands of passengers who have been left out-of-pocket but didn’t bother to claim after having their service delayed or cancelled.
“After years of trying to blame others for the problems in ScotRail, the First Minister has finally admitted that the service is not good enough.
“The priority should be to remove the franchise from Abellio at the first opportunity and to find an operator that can deliver services on time and without cramming passengers onto overcrowded trains.”