Greater Anglia sued by passenger over 'continual' delays

Ipswich railway station
Image caption Mr Pochin made a daily commute to Ipswich railway station

A commuter fed up with "continually" delayed trains has won a legal bid for compensation against the rail company.

Seph Pochin, of Halesworth, Suffolk, had described the service between his home and Ipswich as "woeful", with one train delayed by 100 minutes.

A warrant has now been issued for bailiffs to seize Greater Anglia (GA) property after it failed to pay him £350 compensation.

GA confirmed it was in a legal dispute with Mr Pochin but could not comment.

Mr Pochin, an ecologist, who moved to Halesworth a year ago, said he was considering moving to Ipswich to avoid the delays, which he claims added up to almost 28 hours over 12 months.

Between February 2017 and February 2018, he made 550 journeys and recorded 183 delays.

Image copyright Seph Pochin
Image caption Greater Anglia has been ordered to pay Seph Pochin compensation

According to his figures, the majority of trains were between one and 10 minutes late.

Mr Pochin said 26 journeys were late by more than 15 minutes, with the 100-minute delay on a journey last August.

GA has a delay-repay scheme, paying out compensation for journeys more than 30 minutes late.

Mr Pochin, who corresponded regularly with the firm about the quality of the service, said the 100-minute delay was the last straw.

Using the Consumer Rights Act 2016, he paid £35 to lodge a case at a small claims court "to highlight the regular deficiencies with the service".

Judgement ruling

In September, Mr Pochin and the rail company both agreed to mediation to resolve the matter.

But after GA failed to provide dates to meet, Mr Pochin applied for a judgement ruling, which he won in December, and the train operator was ordered to pay him £350.

In February, after failing to get this money, Mr Pochin paid £77 for a warrant to be served on GA to seize assets worth £350.

The courts and tribunal service confirmed a warrant had been issued against GA, which will now have to pay the sum or face the bailiffs.

Image copyright Greater Anglia
Image caption Greater Anglia pays compensation for journeys that are more than 30 minutes late

GA admitted 23% of delays were "directly attributable to Greater Anglia due to incidents such as train faults".

A spokeswoman said the lines Mr Pochin travels on were being upgraded by Network Rail in a £68m scheme "to make the train service more reliable".

The legislation Mr Pochin used gives rail passengers the same legal protection they receive when paying for other goods and services.

"Hopefully, this case will result in train operators making compensation for delays easier to get," Stephen Joseph, of the Campaign for Better Transport said.

"However, passengers in general don't want compensation, they want trains that run on time."

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