Labour pressed to support call for inquiry into 'rail refund rip-off'


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Indy Politics

Labour will be pressed today to support a call for an inquiry into claims that rail passengers have been “ripped off” by more than £150 million on refund payouts.

The leader of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association will urge the party's annual conference to support his union's demand for an immediate probe into the system of compensation payments for delayed trains.

Manuel Cortes will tell the Manchester conference that private rail companies received £172 million from taxpayer-funded Network Rail last year for late-running trains but paid out less than £10 million of that in refunds to passengers.

"We must send a message to all passengers that we are on their side. We want to see an end to them being ripped off at every turn, whether it is on refunds or sky-high ticket prices," he will say.

"This coalition has already raised fares by a staggering 18% if January's 6.2% increase goes ahead as planned.

"Now we have the scandal of private rail firms picking their pockets on refunds as well. They bank over £170 million for late- running trains but the poor passengers get less than a miserly £10 million.

"We want an inquiry to stop this scandal but we also want to let passengers know we are on their side. They have been ripped off for too long and Labour will stop that happening when we return to power."