Commuters on Great Northern, Thameslink and Northern trains could soon be eligible for an extra lump sum of compensation potentially worth 100s - but if you're affected make sure you claim for individual delays NOW.

Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, announced on Monday there would be additional compensation for customers who have been affected by the recent mass disruption as they are facing "totally unsatisfactory levels of service".

On 20 May Govia Thameslink, which runs the Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern and Gatwick Express services, completely overhauled its timetable, while Transpennine Express and Northern also changed some times in a bid to improve efficiency - but amid many cancellations and delays amended timetables have been introduced on Great Northern, Thameslink and Northern.

See our Train Delays guide for full help on how to claim for disruption.

Martin Lewis
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How will the additional compensation work?

Details of how the additional compensation will work are still extremely sketchy, but the Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed that it will be on top of the usual Delay Repay compensation customers can claim. Here's what we know so far:

  • It'll apply to some Govia Thameslink and Northern customers - maybe others too. In his statement to Parliament, Grayling said the additional compensation scheme must be put on place on affected routes run by Govia Thameslink and Northern.

    But the Department for Transport is currently refusing to say who exactly will qualify. For example, we don't know if the scheme will include customers on Southern, which is part of Govia Thameslink but has been less affected by recent problems. We also don't know if passengers travelling with other train firms who have suffered due to knock-on effects from Govia Thameslink and Northern problems will be eligible. We'll update this story when we know more.
  • It's likely to be for season ticket holders. Grayling said the scheme would be for "regular" travellers, and so is likely to include those with weekly, monthly and annual tickets.
  • You may be eligible for a month's-worth of travel costs. Grayling said the scheme, particularly for Northern passengers, should offer similar compensation to a Southern Rail lump sum scheme which ran last year. Under this scheme those who could prove they held three months of tickets in a nine-month period were eligible to claim a month's-worth of travel. See our Southern Rail compensation MSE News story for more.
  • The scheme will be run by the train firms. Grayling said the scheme would be funded and set up by the rail industry, though Govia Thameslink and Northern have yet to give any details.

We'll update this story with full details of how to claim when we know.

Passengers set for extra compensation after train timetable chaos

Make sure you also claim for each individual delay within 28 days

The DfT has confirmed that making a Delay Repay claim for each individual delay you suffer will not exclude you from being eligible for the lump compensation scheme - so make sure you claim now.

If you're on Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern and Gatwick Express you can claim if you arrive at your destination at least 15 minutes after you were supposed to - regardless of the reason - while with Northern and Transpennine Express it's 30 minutes.

Crucially, if you're travelling on the Govia Thameslink network when checking how long you've been delayed you can claim against the original timetable, which was introduced on 20 May - even if your train firm is running an amended timetable. Northern is yet to confirm whether you claim against the 20 May timetable or the temporary one if there's one on your route. Here are the timetables for each of the firms:

On a number of Govia Thameslink routes going through the capital, including Peterborough to Horsham, Luton to Rainham, Luton to Orpington and Bedford to Brighton, the new timetable hasn't yet been implemented on weekdays, and it's only being implemented gradually over the coming weeks.

If you're delayed on these routes you'll need to check when you should have arrived against its interim timetables in order to see if you can claim.

See our Train Delays guide for full help on how to claim for disruption.

What else did Grayling announce?

In his speech, Grayling said: "Let me be absolutely clear: passengers on these franchises are facing totally unsatisfactory levels of service. And it is my and my department's number one priority to make sure the industry restores reliability for passengers to an acceptable level."

In addition to the compensation scheme, he said there will be an independent inquiry carried out by the Office of Rail and Road, and his department will check if the train firms have breached their contracts.

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train firms, said: "We fully support the Government's enquiry which must take an open and comprehensive look at every aspect of the decision-making process and the organisations involved in the timetable change.

"The industry will play its part to ensure lessons are learned but right now Network Rail, Northern and Govia Thameslink are working together, with support from the rest of the industry, to get services back to an acceptable level."

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