Millions miss out on payouts for late trains

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Millions of rail passengers are losing compensation for late trains because operators fail to tell them about their rights, the Rail Passengers' Council (RPC) says. Stewart Francis, the RPC chairman, believes fewer than 10 per cent of customers get payments they are due.

Mr Francis, delivering the RPC annual report, said train companies' policies varied; some individual operators told travellers what they could claim, but many failed to. He urged companies to publish what they paid in compensation each year. Many say the information is commercially sensitive so cannot be released.

Holders of annual season tickets were compensated automatically, but only if they applied for a replacement ticket. Weekly and monthly season ticket-holders and those who bought tickets for a journey had to make a specific application.

The council also urged the industry to give more notice of disruption caused by engineering work.