Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Experts issue advice to travelers amid UK rail strikes

Transport services across the UK will be disrupted this week as planned train strikes go ahead. Thousands of transport workers walked out on Tuesday (21 June) and will do so again on Thursday and Saturday, meaning many train services will be canceled or delayed.

Transport for Wales are not directly involved in the dispute, but Network Rail will not be staffing the lines so some services cannot run. Avanti West Coast will have no trains running to North Wales or Chester on strike days.

Staff at Network Rail are taking action due to pay freezes and the RMT also says job cuts are being planned, and the issue has been the hot topic of debate throughout the week. If you have had a train canceled or otherwise been affected by the strikes, then it is possible to claim a refund.

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Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Experts have now weighed in on the matter, and have provided a comprehensive guide to finding out if you’re owed money back. They looked at your ticket refund rights if your train is canceled or likely to be canceled.



Train stations across Wales looked quiet on the first day of RMT strike action

They say you have two choices:

  • You can use your ticket on another day up until 28 June: Single-use tickets for strike days can be used the day before the date on the ticket, or up to Tuesday of next week (28 June) – this excludes season tickets. If you want to swap single-use tickets for an alternative date later than June 28, check with the rail company or the firm you purchased the tickets from.
  • You can get a full refund if you cannot travel: Generally, if your train is canceled or rescheduled, you are entitled to a full refund from the firm you were due to travel with for any ticket type, including advance tickets. This includes where the train is canceled due to strike action.

Ticket refund rights if your train is delayed

For single-use rail tickets:

If you have paid for a single-use ticket for this week, be it an advance ticket, off-peak ticket or anytime ticket, you should be eligible for a partial or full refund if your train is delayed due to the strikes.

What you are entitled to claim back depends on how long your train is delayed for. The majority of train firms now operate the ‘Delay Repay’ system, which means they pay out regardless of whether the delay was their fault. While the are some variations to how it works from company to company, in most cases it’s as follows:

  • If it’s delayed by 15-29 minutes you’ll get 25% back (12.5% ​​off a return)
  • If it’s delayed by 30-59 minutes you’ll get 50% back (25% off a return)
  • You’ll get 100% back for 60-119 minutes (50% off a return)
  • You’ll get 100% back off a single or return for 120+ minutes.

How have you been affected by the strikes this week? Let us know in the comments

For season tickets:

Most season ticket holders can also claim for individual delays, but the rules vary and it’s also worth checking if you can claim for continual delays.

How to claim for cancellations and delays

While the rules around refunds for train delays and cancellations are complicated, submitting your claim is usually straightforward and quick to do. Just follow these five steps to claim for delayed AND canceled trains (providing you didn’t use your ticket on another service):

  1. Look up the train company running the service and find out how much you can get back

  2. Make a note of the delay and the reason for it (if you can’t remember the length of the delay) Fill in the claim form – you can find it online or request one from the station or by phone.

  3. Keep hold of your tickets – you’ll need to take a photo of them or scan them if applying online or post them to the train company if claiming that way. You need to claim directly to the train company, even if you purchased your tickets through a third party reseller.

  4. Apply within the time limit of 28 days.

  5. If you’re rejected for compensation or a refund but still think you have a case, complain – you may be able to escalate your case to the Rail Ombudsmen or independent watchdog Transport Focus.

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