Smart Travel Cards Bring By-the-Minute Refunds for Delayed Trips

By Gary Cutlack on at

A trial of a new train ticketing system is running in Essex, where travellers are refunded fractions of the price of a ticket for each minute they're delayed -- meaning we could all one day sit there cackling with joy at the coming of free money when our trains are held up due to snow/leaf incursions.

The scheme, being trialled by local network C2C Rail, offers a full, automatic refund if a train is more than an hour late, with a 50 per cent refund if it's delayed by more than half an hour. The system also pays travellers 3p for each minute they're delayed past an initial two minute grace period, meaning you'd get an amazing 54p windfall should your train come in 20 minutes late.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin seems to be onboard and suggesting this might be rolled out across more franchises at some point, saying: "If people are delayed, they should be repaid. I want to end the frustration endured by millions when they are delayed -- and then have to jump through hoops to claim compensation. I've experienced it myself." [Standard]