What is the EU legislation on compensation payable by rail companies?


The EU regulation (EC) No. 1371/2007 concerns rail passengers’ rights and rail companies’ obligations towards their customers. The EU adopted the new regulation to improve the conditions of rail travel throughout the EU, aiming to make it a preferable alternative to air or road travel.

The EU regulation was implemented into UK law by the Rail Passengers’ Rights and Obligations Regulations 2010 (the Regulations). Businesses who make frequent use of rail travel should seek legal advice to clarify how a compensation claim will be handled now that this is in force.

Visit our EU law pages to find out how it is implemented in the UK.

What do the Regulations provide?

The Regulations increase the amount of compensation payable to rail passengers who have been delayed for more than hour from 20% of the ticket price to 25%. If the delay has been for two hours or more, rail passengers are entitled to 50% of the ticket price.

If a train was cancelled or the journey had to be abandoned, passengers are entitled to a full refund.

The Regulations also give rail passengers more rights in the event of their luggage being lost or damaged. The compensation that can be awarded for lost or damaged luggage can now be up to £1,000.

In addition, the Regulations increase the rights of disabled passengers and passengers with reduced mobility. They guarantee these passengers non-discriminatory access to trains and to assistance. In the event of any alleged discriminatory action, a solicitor should make a formal complaint to the train company.

The Regulations impose an obligation on train operators to provide their customers with comprehensive information before and during their train journey, for example about delays. A company and commercial solicitor can assist an enterprise to ensure they fully comply with this element of the law.

Obligations in the event of death or personal injury

Visit our personal injury pages for more background on this topic.

The Regulations make rail operators liable for loss or damage resulting from the death or injury of a passenger. The liability of the rail operator extends to costs incurred by the death or injury, and the Regulations establish an advance payment that must be awarded to meet the immediate costs.

This advance payment can be up to £18,000 per passenger in the event of death.

The Regulations make the compensation payable in cash, not in vouchers as previously awarded. A solicitor should be consulted if a claim has not been honoured in the proper way.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on European law, we can put you in touch with a local solicitor free of charge. If you have any questions or would like our help in finding relevant local European law solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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