Wigan rail users caught up in the ongoing rail chaos could be in line for a month’s worth of free travel.
Transport for the North (TfN) has agreed a deal with the Department for Transport to provide up to four weeks’ compensation to frustrated commuters affected by Northern cancellations and delays in the region, exacerbated by the ill-fated introduction of a new timetable in May plus line improvement delays between Manchester and Blackpool.
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TfN recommends season ticket holders in the areas worst affected receive compensation equivalent to the cost of four weeks’ worth of travel.
They have also called for season ticket holders in other areas affected since the timetable change to receive compensation equivalent to the cost of one week’s travel, and for a marketing campaign to promote areas where tourism has been affected by disruption.
It is expected that the scheme will be implemented rapidly, following agreement from the Rail North Partnership, and will be delivered directly by the train operators.
This compensation is on top of the pre-existing delay repay scheme, and will also apply to season ticket holders who hold multi-modal travel tickets.
Further details will be released by the operators.
TfN chairman John Cridland said: “We know that the past few months have been very frustrating for many northerners, with those who regularly travel by train being heavily affected.
“The Transport for the North board has been pressing the rail industry to adequately compensate those who have suffered the most.
“I’m delighted that we are now able to start doing this but there is still more work to be done.”
Northern also announced that its tickets will be accepted on a number of other train companies’ services until July 29, including TransPennine, Virgin and CrossCountry.