England

Southern season ticket rail refund: What you need to know

southern train Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption More than 84,000 people are expected to be compensated, according to the Department for Transport

Rail passengers with season tickets who have been hit by long-running disruption on the Southern network are to be repaid the equivalent of a month's travel. So who's eligible for a refund, and how do you go about getting it?

The Department for Transport says more than 84,000 passengers are to be compensated following "extraordinary disruption" caused by Network Rail track failures, engineering works, unacceptably poor performance by the operator and the actions of the RMT union.

Who gets a refund?

Season ticket holders will be able to claim a refund for the equivalent of a month's (4 weeks) travel. That means an annual season ticket holder will be able to claim a refund against their 2016 ticket.

Those claiming against quarterly, monthly or weekly tickets must have bought travel for at least 12 weeks between 24 April 2016 and 31 December 2016 to be eligible.

How do you claim?

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) - the parent company of Southern - has the details of most season ticket holders who will have given their details when buying their tickets.

Ticket-holders will be sent an email inviting them to log into a website to claim compensation - which can be transferred directly to their bank account or claimed as vouchers.

GTR will also be able to consider proof of purchase from people claiming this compensation who are not registered with the company.

Customers do not need to contact Southern directly at this stage.

How long will it take?

In early January 2017 Southern will contact all customers on its database it believes qualify for a refund to confirm the amount due and the method of payment.

It is has not been outlined how long it will take for refunds to be made but current refund claims normally take 20 working days.

How much are they expecting to pay out?

The refund scheme is being funded by the Department for Transport, not Southern.

The total amount will depend on how many people claim and for what routes. Passengers with a Brighton to London annual season ticket, for example, will get £371 back.

Quarterly, regular monthly and weekly season ticket holders will also qualify for a one-off payment.

In response to a BBC inquiry, Southern said it did not have a definitive figure worked out.

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