Recently, I received welcome news of the introduction of a Rail Ombudsman.
The launch of this new service is a real step forward for passengers’ rights. Rail passengers will now find it easier to seek redress for poor service and ensure they are treated respectfully when they do so.
The Ombudsman will be delivered by a specialist provider who has 25 years’ experience of customer service and a majority of the staff working for the Ombudsman have legal training. In addition to handling complaints, the Ombudsman will provide training for the industry. The Ombudsman has binding powers, which gives passengers a stronger voice and ensures they can get a fair deal when disputes with train operators cannot otherwise be resolved.
The Ombudsman will focus on key issues for passengers such as the availability of information, train service issues and customer service. It will also address disputes related to the provisions of assistance and facilities for people with disabilities.
This is a significant step forward for passengers’ rights that I am sure will be welcomed by rail users across Worcestershire. Far too many of my constituents have felt let down by the train services that they rely on and have sought my assistance after finding it difficult to complain directly to train operators. This new ombudsman service will go a long way in improving passengers’ experience and I hope to raise awareness with as many constituents as possible so they know that they now have Rail Ombudsman to go to.
Further information about the Rail Ombudsman is available on its website at www.railombudsman.org