Train firms profit from delays, say MPs

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Graeme Paton has reported that MPs on the Commons transport committee have accused train operators of profiting from delays by pocketing millions of pounds from Network Rail, but failing to pass on the cash to passengers, and warned that there were not enough incentives to provide compensation to travellers for late-running services and cancellations. Network Rail paid £105m last year to train operators for unplanned disruption, but paid out only £45m to passengers. Passenger watchdog Transport Focus research has found that almost two-thirds of late travellers fail to claim compensation. The MPs have called for the unclaimed compensation to be diverted to a taxpayer fund to improve services, instead of boosting operator profits. Jacqueline Starr, MD of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, said: “It’s not necessarily boosting the profits of the train operating companies because they are investing that money.”

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