Rail passengers will not be left out of pocket from pandemic-related local restrictions, under extra protections announced by the Department for Transport.
Passengers who have bought an Advance ticket that they can subsequently no longer use as a result of COVID-19 restrictions changing will not have to pay the administration cost of rearranging travel for a ticket purchased prior to any announcement.
The temporary measures enable passengers to claim discretionary rail travel vouchers or credit notes for unused advance tickets that are valid for up to a year. This offers more flexibility than the current arrangements, said the DfT.
The Government is also allowing independent rail retailers to temporarily waive the usual change of journey administration fee for Advance tickets.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “COVID has seen massive disruption to our way of life, and passengers buying Advance tickets should not be penalised for cancelling their travel plans to follow advice that can save lives. By temporarily scrapping these admin fees on Advance tickets, and extending the time people have to re-book their journeys, we are ensuring that large numbers of rail passengers will not be left out of pocket.”
The Government has previously stepped in to permit Advance ticket refunds at the outset of the pandemic, as well as removing administrative refund or change of journey charges from Advance, Off-Peak, Super Off-Peak or Anytime tickets.
Jacqueline Starr, Chief Operating Officer at the Rail Delivery Group, said: “When people take the train we want them to travel with confidence. As well as extra cleaning and more trains, that means people knowing that if things change and they can no longer use their Advance ticket due to COVID restrictions, they won’t be unfairly penalised, so this announcement is good news for our passengers.”
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