First Great Western trains

Rail firm franchises delayed

A Government decision to review the way rail franchises are awarded has delayed the awarding of new contracts to run the region's trains.

Trains at station

Firm to pay late train refunds

The rail operator First Great Western is being forced to pay compensation to passengers after almost 20% of its trains were late.

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Check before you travel by rail around Southampton

Passengers using and going through Southampton Central train station this Easter bank holiday are being warned to check before they travel as work and improvements continue.

The station is currently going through extensive work to improve reliability of trains.

The £20 million improvements could affect services from South West Trains, Cross Country, Southern and First Great Western.

Replacement buses are in operation but passengers are reminded to add an extra 60 minutes onto their journey times.

Jim Morgan, infrastructure director for the Network Rail/South West Trains Alliance said:

We recognise that this is not ideal and we are sorry for the inevitable disruption that will be caused to passengers. We have sought to keep disruption to a minimum whilst we undertake this essential work.

There will be replacement bus services through Southampton over those weekends, and we will have customer service staff available at stations to help everyone get where they are going.

– Jim Morgan, Network Rail/South West Trains Alliance

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First class seats to be ripped out to ease overcrowding

First class seats to be ripped out to provide more extra seats

Thousands of first class seats are to be ripped out of trains in the Thames Valley and converted for use by standard class passengers in a radical move to ease overcrowding.

Passengers have long complained that first class carriages are empty while commuters are packed into standard class.

First Great Western to provide an extra 3,000 seats a day

Now an agreement has been reached with First Great Western and the Government that will mean an extra 3,000 seats a day. The work will be complete by next summer and cost £13 million.

It is one of a number of measures - including extra carriages - to provide more capacity at the busiest times.

Rail company compensates commuters after flooding

Station
A typical scene during the floods in the Thames Valley. Credit: Guy Phillips

Thousands of rail commuters in the Thames Valley will be given five days' compensation for the recent chaos caused by flooding, ITV Meridian can reveal. Under government rules bad weather is usually exempt from compensation payments.

However, First Great Western say 'it is only fair' after a period when so many services were cancelled. Flooding at Maidenhead meant lines were closed which hit services into Paddington.

The compensation will be paid to season ticket holders when they renew tickets or they will be able to have a cash payment.

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Meridian East - 75% of rail passengers unaware they're entitled to compensation for delays & cancellations

by Mike Pearse

Millions of pounds in compensation - for delayed trains - hasn't been paid - because passengers don't know they can claim it. The money from rail firms is there for commuters hit by delays or cancellations.

But a recent report by the Government's Rail Regulator found that...

75% of people aren't aware they're entitled to compensation.

74% say train companies do little or nothing to let them know they can claim.

That means £90 million is left unclaimed every year.

A number of lines are still suffering disruption after recent storms including the Battle to Wadhurst lines in Sussex - and the Ashford to Canterbury line which is currently under water at Shalmsford Street. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

Meridian West - 75% of passengers don't know about rail refunds for late or cancelled trains

Millions of pounds in compensation hasn't been paid out - because rail passengers - don't know they can claim it. The money from rail firms is there for passengers facing delays or cancellations but the Government's Rail Regulator, says most people have no idea.

It says that:

Three quarters of people don't even know they're entitled to compensation.

74% say train companies do little or nothing to let them know they can claim.

That means £90 million is left unclaimed every year.

Here's our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse.

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