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7 April: news in brief

Watchdog calls for ‘clarity’ over season ticket refunds

TRANSPORT FOCUS has called for ‘clarity and reassurance’ over the process for claiming refunds on season tickets. Many thousands of people have no need for their annual tickets, because they are now working from home as a result of the coronavirus emergency. Refunds are available from 17 March, even if the ticket is surrendered later, because that was when the government lockdown order came into force. At the moment, holders of seasons in England still have to pay the £10 administration fee for handling refunds, although it has been suspended in Wales and Scotland. Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith wants the £10 fee to be waived in England as well. He said: ‘This is a very worrying time for people who are facing financial uncertainty. No one should feel they have to make a special trip to their station to hand in their season ticket for fear of getting less money back if they dont. If passengers post their ticket they shouldnt need to worry that they’ll lose out because their claim is sitting in a pile of letters waiting to be opened. We welcome the decision to backdate claims to 17 March – the government and rail industry have done the right thing by passengers. But train companies now need to step up and communicate this to passengers as clearly as possible.’

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