The UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that Southern rail passengers hit by long-running network disruption will be refunded the equivalent of a month’s travel fees.
Payments will be made to more than 84,000 eligible passengers.
The disruption to passengers is due to various causes, including Network Rail track failures, engineering works and poor operator performance, as well as the actions of the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers' (RMT) union.
An annual season ticket holder can claim a refund against their 2016 ticket, which will be paid into their bank account directly.
This payment is in addition to the improved Delay Repay 15 compensation scheme, which is set to begin operating on Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) services from 11 December.
UK Rail Minister Paul Maynard said: “Getting Southern rail services back on track is a priority for the government and I know that what passengers want most is a reliable service.
“But when things do go wrong it is right that we compensate people who have not had the service that they deserve.
“We’re working hard to get Network Rail and Southern to improve this network and get this railway working the way people expect.”
Passengers will also be able to claim compensation if their train is delayed by more than 15 minutes.
Southern’s parent company GTR will invite season ticket holders to log into a website to claim compensation.
Under the ‘Delay Repay 15’ scheme, GTR passengers can claim 25% of the cost of a single fare for delays between 15 and 29 minutes in length.
The scheme will be initially introduced on GTR services, including Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express airport trains.
Later it will be rolled out across the rail network, starting with the new South Western, West Midlands and South Eastern franchises.