The Money Shot – train in vain

Image of people boarding train
They'd had long enough to say goodbye - the train had been delayed for 45 minutes already
"The government must now ensure that the rail regulator has all the powers and duties it needs to be a consumer watchdog with real teeth" Richard Lloyd, Which?
  • | by Kristian Dando

“Ding-dong-ding-ding! Attention passengers. The seven-teen-forty-six service to… London Paddington… has been delayed by…. two hours.”

It’s the infernal melody and robotic refrain that nobody about to embark on a rail journey wants to hear, especially if they’ve paid through the nose for the privilege.

But did you know you can claim compo for delayed or cancelled journeys? Not many people do.

In fact, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR – no, us neither) has admitted that 80% of people don’t bother, with millions of pounds going unclaimed.

But following a stern-sounding ‘super complaint’ by the tireless consumer champions and scourges of your word processor’s autocorrect facility at Which?, millions of passengers are going to be given extra help to get their cash back.

It’s also been suggested that general awareness of being able to claim back a ticket will be ramped up, with announcements at stations and on trains and what-not, which is pretty good really considering most people don’t know about it.

However, the Which? crew reckons that the ORR have failed to go the whole hog. “This alone will not be enough to solve the problem for passengers in the long term," pondered Richard Lloyd, the organisation's executive director. "The government must now ensure that the rail regulator has all the powers and duties it needs to be a consumer watchdog with real teeth."

The Money Shot is pondering whether it might just be better taking the car instead...

Tell us about your delayed train nightmares on Twitter and Facebook

News in brief

The Budget happened, and we’re sure you’ve all heard quite enough about it now.

Coffee pods have entered the Office of National Statistics’ fabled ‘basket’ of shopping items.

Fraud Action UK reckons the spoils of cyber crime have rocketed to £755m a year.

Manchester was named the car-keying capital of Britain by Co-operative Insurance.

On Covered mag this week

This week we went Budget crackers, with a bingo game, soundboard and a whistle-stop round-up of all the fiscal frolics.

Covered mag letters


I write with good tidings this morning from Cheltenham Racecourse. I’ve decided to ‘go large’ on today’s bets after reading last week’s missive on big betting wins.

I’ve got a dead cert on a keen young filly racing in today’s meet who goes by the name of ‘Glue Factory’. I’ll be sure to send you your cut of my winnings in the post.


Arthur Bostock, Donegal

Join us next week for another bollard-leaping edition of the Money Shot. Until then, send us your letters.