Railways: Bus Services

Department for Transport written question – answered on 4th July 2017.

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Photo of Stephen McPartland Stephen McPartland Conservative, Stevenage

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to ensure that passengers who have to travel on a bus replacement service in lieu of a planned rail journey are compensated; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Passengers rightly demand improvements to our railway services. That is why we are currently investing billions each year across the network. However, from time to time, it may be necessary to replace a train service with a bus or coach. Train companies’ responsibilities to passengers who have purchased a rail ticket are set out in the National Rail Conditions of Travel (NRCoT). The NRCoT apply on rail replacement services as for other train services, including the entitlement to compensation for any delayed journey, which is based on the advertised timetable. There is no specific entitlement to compensation relating to journeys involving the use of a rail replacement bus which run to the advertised timetable.

Wherever engineering work is planned in advance, the train company or retailer will make passengers aware of any need to use a rail replacement service, including any altered times in timetable information, so that they may make an informed decision about their travel plans. If the replacement is at short notice, and the person wishing to travel cannot complete their journey because the company is unable to transport their luggage, articles, animals and/or cycles by road vehicle, and they therefore decide not to travel, they are entitled to claim a refund without any administration charge.

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