IMPROVED compensation is being offered by South Western Railway to passengers whose travel was disrupted by the strikes in December last year.
There were a combined 27 days of industrial action by the RMT union during the month, as part of the ongoing dispute with SWR over the future role of train guards.
The company said “customer feedback” had encouraged it to raise compensation above the normal reimbursements through the delay repay system.
The cost of rail travel for up to five days will be offered to holders of season and daily tickets who travelled frequently during the strike.
In the first phase SWR will contact those whose details it has to arrange payments. The second phase will open later for other customers actively to apply for compensation.
The company said its efforts to keep services moving during the strike had limited the drop in passengers to 80% of the numbers it would usually carry at that time of year.
“However, having listened to customer feedback, and given the duration and intensity of the strike, we are now offering additional compensation, over and above the normal delay repay arrangements,” it added.
“We are working on creating an online eligibility checker, so customers will be able to find out their entitlement before the scheme opens.
“SWR will notify customers when the eligibility checker is available and when each phase opens.”
A basic year-long season ticket with SWR from Brockenhurst to London Waterloo is priced at £6,456.
Further industrial action is likely after RMT members voted in January to back further strikes, although no dates have been announced.
As reported in the A&T, SWR is also facing the threat of being nationalised for its poor performance. Transport secretary Grant Shapps has ordered it to come up with an action plan, and for civil servants to prepare for possible nationalisation.
To find out more about the compensation scheme go to www.southwesternrailway.com/december-2019-strike-compensation.