This is how many rail passengers have had claims rejected according to figures

Halifax train station
Halifax train station

Nearly 50,000 passengers travelling into Leeds on two of West Yorkshire's main rail operators had their claims for compensation for delayed or cancelled trains rejected, new figures show.

Around a quarter of TransPennine Express (TpE) and Northern passengers unsuccessfully applied for compensation between April and October 2018.

Many commuters use Northern services to travel from Halifax to Leeds on a daily basis.

TpE paid out in 74 per cent of cases, while Northern did in 77 per cent, both lower rates than average.

However, claims by 18,958 TpE passengers and 30,917 Northern passengers were thrown out.

The number of successful claims by Northern passengers equated to just five for every train cancelled or delayed by at least half an hour, in TpE’s case, the figure was slightly higher at eight.

Commenting on the figures, Stephen Waring, chairman of Halifax & District Rail Action, said: “People see (railways) as a public service and think it should operate as one service.

“It is difficult to see why different companies should have different rules.

“There ought to be some imposed system that applies nationally.

“Perhaps it will happen with the Williams Rail Review.”

Both Northern and TpE trailed behind London North Eastern Railway, operator of the London Kings Cross to Leeds service, which paid out on 85 per cent of claims.

Another Yorkshire operator, Grand Central, which has trains running between Halifax, Brighouse and London, paid out in just 58 per cent of the cases.

Passenger groups say many compensation schemes remain too complicated and time-consuming and would like to see a simple set of rules and processes across all train operators.

Nina Smith, of the Yorkshire branch of the campaign group Railfuture, said numbers seeking compensation remained low because many passengers were unaware of their rights or believed it was not worth their time to claim.

A further problem for commuters is Northern not paying compensation on multi-modal travel cards, like the MCard.

Northern said it needed formal agreement from ticketing companies and was trying to find a solution.

Stephen Waring, said: “A high proportion of Leeds commuters will use MCards. Surely if their train is late they should be entitled to compensation just as they would if they had a rail-only ticket."

The Government says it is working to roll out a scheme which pays out after delays of 15 minutes across all operators and wants passengers to be able to claim refunds online with just one click.

Only a third of passengers eligible for compensation actually claim it, according to Transport Focus. Northern’s figures exclude the enhanced compensation scheme rolled out after the May timetable chaos.