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Cross Border Rail Passenger Rights

April 25th 2011

Rail Users Ireland (RUI), Ireland's National Rail Users Organisation today launched a campaign to inform all cross border rail passengers of there rights under EU regulations.

European Union Regulation EC 1371/2007 "Rail Passenger Rights and Obligations" grants considerable rights to cross border rail passengers including for the first time a legal right to a refund in cash when a serious delay or a set of recurrent delays occurs. Neither Irish Rail nor Translink have made any effort to inform there customers of these rights nor have they demonstrated to Rail Users Ireland in both written correspondence and formal meetings any serious effort in implementing these regulations. despite a legal requirement to do so.

The EU regulation provides passengers with considerable extra rights, including a right to compensation in the event of delays.

1. For delays of between 60 and 119 minutes a refund of 25% of the ticket price, for delays of 120 minutes or more 50%
2. Holders of monthly or annual tickets are entitled to compensation for recurrent delays.
3. Meals and overnight accommodation if the delay is such to prevent completion of the journey the same day

Refunds must be paid in cash form if so requested.

While both Irish Rail and Translink will be quick to claim the Enterprise passenger charter provides passengers with refunds starting at 30 minutes delay these refunds are vouchers which cannot be used to purchase a ticket online or from a ticket machine. Indeed in many cases following a delay it is understandable that a passenger will avoid travelling by train again so the cash option is by far the most attractive.

Mark Gleeson spokesperson RUI said "It is critical that passengers are made aware of and demand their full entitlements under these regulations. There is great public awareness of the rights of air passengers but no awareness of the similar rights of rail passengers."

Cross border passengers seeking further information including template letters to apply for compensation should visit,

http://www.railusers.ie/passenger_info/ec1371.php

Rail Users Ireland encourages all cross border commuters travelling on monthly or annual tickets to seek compensation due to the consistent delays due to mechanical problems and speed restrictions. Management of both Irish Rail and Translink have been unable to explain to Rail Uses Ireland what the compensation scheme entails. This scheme is a legal requirement for which both Translink and Irish Rail could be heavily fined for failing to implement.

Any passenger who is unhappy with the level of compensation or the refusal to pay any compensation may file an appeal with the railway company and if that appeal is not addressed to their satisfaction, a further complaint can be made the National Transport Authority, Dublin for tickets sold by Irish Rail or The Consumer Council, Belfast for tickets issued by Translink. The railway companies may be subject to fines for failing to correctly implement this EU regulation by the supervising state body.

Punctuality on cross border services is appalling, with close to 1 in 4 trains more than 10 minutes late, for example the 08:00 Belfast Dublin service suffered from over 3 and a half hours of delay in March 2011. These measures exclude delays outside the control of the railway companies so the reality is on the ground is far worse. It must not be forgotten that the international standard for rail punctuality is 5 minutes not 10 minutes.

Mark Gleeson for RUI, "The Dublin Belfast rail service is a disgrace, journey times are no better in reality than those when the service was launched in 1947. It is still not possible to book a standard class seat for a journey commencing in Northern Ireland and this is supposedly the premier rail service on this Island. Trains routinely experience mechanical problems, passengers are frequently forced to travel on commuter trains without proper catering or first class"

Last Updated: April 25 2011 14:25:36
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