MORE rail passengers in the South West will be able to claim compensation for service delays from next month.

From April 1, season ticket holders delayed by 15 minutes or more will be able to claim for compensation, irrespective of the cause of their delay, as part of the 'Delay Repay' scheme run by Great Western Railway (GWR).

Previously this scheme was only available for daily and weekly tickets, but now season ticket holders will be able to immediately claim for a refund on the delayed part of their journey.

Up to this point, compensation arrangements for season ticket holders saw them receive a discount on renewal, should GWR have failed to achieve pre-determined targets for punctuality and reliability.

Those making a claim will be able to choose how they receive compensation: from BACs direct to a bank account; a payment to a card; Rail Travel Vouchers; or as a donation to chosen charity Action for Children.

The compensation amount will depend on the length of the delay on arrival at the passenger's destination and the cost of their ticket:

For delays of 15 to 29 minutes, passengers can claim 25 per cent of the single journey cost, and for delays of 30 to 59 minutes they can claim 50 per cent.

They can claim 100 per cent of the single journey cost for delays between 60 and 119 minutes, and 100 per cent of the return journey cost for delays over 120 minutes.

GWR managing director Mark Hopwood said: “We want those who travel with us to be able to do so in confidence, and that means ensuring that when people are delayed, they are adequately compensated for their loss.

“We do all we can to get people to their destination on time, but when things do go wrong customers need to trust in a fair system.

"As we start to welcome more people back to the railway, the extension of this scheme will do just that, easily compensating people if they are delayed.”

Rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris commented: “It’s an important step forwards for passengers that GWR are extending their Delay Repay scheme to all rail season ticket holders.

“As people return to the rail network, it is important that they get the compensation they deserve for any delays they face.”

GWR launched their delay repay scheme on April 1, 2019, and so far almost 400,000 claims have been made, totalling £7.3 million in compensation.

Those looking to make a claim can do so by completing the online claim form here.

GWR is currently operating a reduced timetable during the Covid-19 lockdown and customers should follow government guidelines, only travelling for work if essential or for other legally permitted reasons.