18 November 2016
RMT Press Office:
Compensation bill sky rockets on Britain's chaotic, privatised railways.
New Department of Transport figures show that the private sector railway industry is shelling out record amounts of compensation for increasingly failing services.
With companies now being forced to tell customers how to claim for the appalling service they endure, passenger compensation is sky rocketing. Virgin West Coast has doubled the compensation it has had to pay out in two years from £6.78 million in 2013/14 to a whopping £13.8 million in 2015/16. Over on East Coast Virgin has seen compensation rise since it took over from the public sector from £450,000 to £10.8 million.
With over £44.9 million paid out by all the companies in 2015/16 the true extent of a failing private sector railway is becoming apparent to everyone.
With First Group paying out £7.3 million in compensation last year it is little wonder that it’s Chief Executive T O’Toole is pleading for train operators to put in more realistic bids for future franchises.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said that as more fed up passengers claim for the inconvenience and suffering caused by constant poor service, the compensation is being underpinned by eye watering fares and cross compensation from the public purse via Network Rail.
“The rail franchise system is clearly broken and it is time that the government recognised that handing out contracts to the private sector is simply adding to the woes of Britain’s rail users,” he said.
"This is money that is being bled out of a failing and chaotic rail system that could be reinvested in services if we didn't have the fragmentation of privatisation."
"There are literally hundreds of lawyers employed by Network Rail and the train companies doing nothing other than arguing the toss over compensation. It's a shocking waste of time and money that is just another toxic by-product of the privatisation racket. Public ownership of the whole railway would end this nonsense."
Note: Government compo figures here.