For many train operating companies, the Delay Repay compensation offered to annual season ticket holders depends on the company’s assumption about the number of journeys made each year. The more journeys, the less the compensation.
A Sevenoaks Rail Travellers Association investigation has shown that different companies’ assumptions range from 278 to 546 single journeys. Southeastern are the most miserly.
Chiltern Railways – 139 days, 278 single journeys
Chiltern’s Delay Repay is the clear winner. For a 30-59 minutes delay, Chiltern’s season ticket holders would get a 50% refund of the ANYTIME Single fare. Converted to the basis of other train companies’ offers, this is equivalent to 50% of 1/278 of the annual season ticket price – an assumption of a return journey on each of only 139 days a year.
Cross Country – 232 days, 464 single journeys
Cross Country is next best, based on 232 days travel. That is presumably 48 weeks minus 8 bank holidays. (Boxing Day doesn’t count because there’s no service.) Not unreasonable.
Abellio Greater Anglia, c2c, East Coast, East Midlands, London Midland, Virgin, GTR/Thameslink – 260 days, 520 single journeys
These train companies’ calculations are based on 260 travel days a year. To commute for that number of days a year one would never take a day’s leave and would go to the office on all the bank holidays as well. That might be reasonable for train company employees (discuss), but is completely unreasonable for most of us.
Southeastern – 273 days, 546 single journeys
Southeastern have the most disadvantageous terms for annual season ticket holders. The assumption of 273 days/546 single journeys assumes that passengers travel on every weekday, take no holidays, travel on bank holidays and also make a weekend return trip every four weeks (260+13=273). For 2015 it also assumes that the season ticket is used on Christmas Day (this year on a Friday) – when there no trains! That’s wholly unrealistic – but it is of course highly financially advantageous to Southeastern.
If Chiltern’s Delay Repay rules applied to Sevenoaks, a 30-59 minutes delay would trigger a £5.90 refund (50% of £11.80); Southeastern’s miserly £3.01 is barely half of that (50% of 1/546th of £3,288).
For Annual Season Ticket holders claiming Delay-Repay, Southeastern are Scrooge all year round, not just at Christmas.