Harpenden commuter train

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Rail passengers who’re sad about how their complaints have been dealt with will have the ability to enchantment through a service launched on Monday.

The Dispute Decision Ombudsman is an unbiased physique designed to carry prepare firms to account.

Figures present 28% of people that made a criticism to a rail firm in 2017/18 had been glad with the end result.

It follows widespread disruption on the railways this yr which has angered many passengers.

This included the botched rollout of a brand new timetable in Might and repeated strikes which precipitated chaos on some traces.

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The commonest gripes final yr had been about punctuality and reliability, difficulties shopping for a ticket and never with the ability to discover a seat.

The overwhelming majority of complaints are handled by prepare firms with out the necessity for folks to show to an appeals course of, the Workplace of Rail and Highway says.

Nonetheless, passengers can use the ombudsman if they’re sad with the ultimate response from an operator or if their criticism has not been resolved inside 40 working days.

It’s thought round 6,000 complaints a yr can be referred to the brand new service.

Its choices can be binding and rail companies must take motion if failings are recognized.

Rail Minister Andrew Jones stated the launch of the ombudsman would “be sure that passengers are heard and that they get a good deal when prepare firms fall brief”.

Jacqueline Starr, a managing director at trade physique the Rail Supply Group, stated the scheme would give passengers “even higher confidence that we’re doing as a lot as we are able to to get to a good consequence”.

Anthony Smith, chief government of unbiased passenger watchdog Transport Focus, stated he anticipated the service to “drive enhancements to the best way most prepare operators deal with passenger complaints”.

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