West Midlands Trains: Apology over rail delay claim rise

Image caption,
Passenger Jo Martyr said her journeys between Birmingham and Worcester were "anxiety inducing"

The number of compensation claims from West Midlands Trains passengers is currently 10 times higher than average, the BBC has learnt.

Figures show 32,000 Delay Repay claims were made in the last month, with about 50% covering half-term week.

The company, which received about 3,000 claims before a new timetable in May, apologised to passengers, particularly for problems during half term.

West Midlands Trains operates London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railways, running services from London Euston to Birmingham and around the Midlands.

The figures seen by the BBC relate only to its operations on West Midlands Railways.

Image caption,
Francis Thomas said he encouraged more claims from passengers

Passenger Jo Martyr travels to Birmingham from Worcester and said fewer carriages has meant more overcrowding which makes journeys "anxiety inducing".

Season ticket holder Melissa Blewitt said she was claiming over delays to her journeys to the city from Malvern in Worcestershire, but said refunds have sometimes just been pennies.

She said: "32p to suffer and not getting home until 10pm at night. It's fairly appalling really.

"It doesn't justify the conditions we have to suffer and on a daily basis."

Francis Thomas, from the operator, apologised for passengers "having to claim at all".

He added: "I would say not enough people do make claims. We would like to see more people claim the compensation they are entitled to."

Mr Thomas said 99% of the claims are paid within 10 days and that annual season ticket holders get a discounted fare and so compensation for delays of between 15 to 29 minutes will be a low figure.

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