Brighton passengers are receiving better compensation than those from Hove, Parliament was told yesterday (Tuesday 24 July).
Hove MP Peter Kyle raised the disparity in a House of Commons debate in Westminster Hall.
The Labour MP called on the Transport Minister Jo Johnson to ensure that Hove rail passengers receive fair compensation for the severe disruption they have suffered since the May timetable changes.
Mr Kyle said: “Under the scheme announced by the government, passengers travelling from Brighton receive level 1 compensation but those leaving from Hove receive level 2 compensation.
“They are one stop apart, they pay exactly the same for their tickets and their season tickets and they leave from the same city, so does the minister not think passengers leaving from Hove station are entitled to the higher level of compensation, which would fit what they pay for the service?”
Mr Johnson said: “The honourable gentleman has been a strong voice for his constituents in recent weeks – I have had almost as many conversations and meetings with him as I have had with the honourable member for Brighton Pavilion.
“It is obviously important that the government focus on compensating first those passengers who have suffered the most disruption.
“That is the approach we took to the disruption of Southern services a year and a half ago and we are taking a similar approach now.
“That means we have created two categories of passenger. Category 1 passengers are those with a very heavy dependence on Thameslink or Great Northern services from their station.
“Passengers with a lesser dependence on those operators receive a lower level of compensation, reflecting the fact that they have an alternative means of getting to or from work, primarily.
“That explains the different approaches to passengers travelling from Preston Park and those travelling from the station the honourable gentleman mentioned in his constituency.
“The compensation scheme covers the period from (Monday) 20 May 2018 to (Saturday) 28 July 2018 and it will go live in two waves.
“GTR will contact registered qualifying passengers proactively by the end of August before a web portal is opened for other passengers at a later date.
“As I said, that is identical to the system used for the Southern industrial action disruption about 18 months ago.
“Annual, monthly and weekly season ticket holders will all be eligible for up to one month, or four weeks, of the cost of their ticket.
“That is in addition to the standard ‘delay repay’ compensation GTR passengers are entitled to after any 15-minute delay.
“That package was designed to compensate the worst affected passengers, who travel every day on season tickets bought in advance.
“Those who travel less frequently can claim ‘delay repay’ compensation for the disruption they have experienced.”
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