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Newspaper Columns

KM Column - Delay Repay 15 - 20 June 2019

What could you do with 15 minutes? Boil a few eggs? Bath the children? Start the dinner? As we all fill our lives more and more, those minutes matter. Sadly, too often, they are wasted by events we can’t control. Like delays.

For those of us who travel by train, they’re all too common. That’s why I’m pleased that even though the new franchise isn’t starting yet, we’re getting the Delay Repay 15 brought in. 

 Train travel is not cheap. Costing a small fortune, it eats into our budget and our lives. That’s why we need trains to be on time. Southeastern, sadly, has too many services delayed or cancelled every day. Recently it looked like there was a ray of sunshine, as the new franchise should have started, but to my frustration, the Transport Minister has still not decided which company to award this to.

 That is why I asked the Rail Minister to change the policy and start the 15-minute compensation scheme now, instead of when the new franchise began. I am delighted he has done it, and the scheme will now begin in autumn. So, by the time the leaves start to fall, and delays become more common, we will have a scheme that works for us, the passengers.

 In a perfect world trains wouldn’t be delayed at all and we wouldn’t need to change the policy. But there is no quick fix. So, in the meantime, I hope that the introduction of the 15-minute delay repay will make a big difference to commuters.


Georgie Welford