Scotrail Delay Repay

Written by Karen Bryan

My rail journey from Stirling to Kyle of Lochalsh in late October was delayed for more than two hours.

This was caused by a broken down train at Gleneagles, around mid way between Stirling and Perth.

The Glasgow to Inverness train which I was due to board at 07.36 in Stirling arrived a few minutes late and into a different platform to the one originally announced. I boarded the train which sat in Stirling station for more than one hour. I was given a free hot drink from the trolley.

There were several announcements informing passengers that they could claim a refund through the Scotrail Delay Repay scheme for delays of more than 30 minutes.

Around 9.00,  it was announced that our train was cancelled and that there would be a bus replacement service.

At this stage, I reckoned that if I wasn’t going to be able to get to Inverness in time to catch the 13.30 train to Kyle of Lochalsh, that I should abort my trip. There was no point in the doing the scenic rail trip to Kyle of Lochalsh in the dark on the train which departed from Inverness in the late afternoon.

We were informed that one bus would go directly to Inverness. I estimated that the drive to Inverness would take three hours. So, as long as the bus left Stirling by 10.00, I would be in Inverness on time to catch the 13.30 train to Kyle.

The bus left Stirling around 9.30, arriving in Inverness at 12.30.

Before boarding the bus in Stirling, I asked the drive if the bus had a toilet. He said it did. The toilet was dreadful, the light was broken, so it was like going in to a coal shed. The toilet wouldn’t flush and there was not water coming from the taps in the sink. The bus was also cold and had a really whiny engine. It was an unpleasant journey compared to being on the train.

I had looked up Delay Repay on my phone, so I knew that I would be able to claim a refund of the full cost of my return ticket as my arrival in Kyle of Lochalsh was going to be more than two hours later than originally scheduled.

I made my Scotrail Delay Repay claim online the following morning from my hotel room in Kyle of Lochalsh. It took me a few minutes to completed the form, as I had to take a photo of my tickets to attach to the claim form. I opted to receive my refund by cash voucher, which can be used towards the purchase of a rail ticket, or exchanged for cash at a railway station.

Four working days later, I received an email from Scotrail informing me that my Delay Repay claim had been approved and that I would receive my refund within five working days.

The following morning my cash voucher arrived in the mail.

I was impressed by Scotrail’s efficiency in processing my Delay Repay claim.

A couple of days later, I walked to Stirling station to exchange my voucher for cash. The counter clerk told me that he was unable to give me the cash unless I brought the letter which accompanied the Delay Repay voucher.

I was really annoyed, as it didn’t mention this requirement in either the letter or on the voucher. At that stage, I wasn’t even sure that I still had the letter. Fortunately on my return home, I found the letter.

The following week, I went back to the station and was able to claim my refund.

However, getting a refund of the ticket price was scant compensation for the hassle, waste of my time and awful bus journey from Stirling to Inverness.