The Yorkshire Post says: Compensation scheme welcome but rail passengers just want reliable trains

Newly-appointed rail minister Andrew Jones is entirely correct in his assessment of what the Government and train operators should be aiming for on the network; providing services '¨which are reliable, '¨punctual and trusted by customers.

It is to become easier to claim compensation for late-running Northern services.
It is to become easier to claim compensation for late-running Northern services.

The unfortunate reality is that achieving that very basic standard of service has proved to be beyond the capabilities of those running Yorkshire’s 
rail services for most of 
this year.

It means yesterday’s announcement that while rail passengers using Northern services will now be able to claim partial compensation when their journeys are delayed by 15 minutes rather than the previous half-an-hour is a welcome development, it is tempered considerably by the fact that such a move has been required because trains are cancelled or late so frequently.

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Such financial penalties will undoubtedly provide a greater incentive for rail companies to provide better levels of service than they do currently and it is right that the requirement for compensation for delays of this level will be built into future rail franchises.

Mr Jones, who is MP for Harrogate, says he wants other operators to sign up to the same rules on paying compensation as “part of what the future looks like” in treating passengers more fairly. Those companies yet to sign up may wish to reflect on what message it sends to long-suffering customers if they decline to participate.

But what most people who use the railways in Yorkshire want the future to look like is actually even more simple than Mr Jones suggests; trains that actually run on time.