Rail industry appoints ombudsman to rule on complaints

Published by Edmund Greaves on 19 July 2018.
Last updated on 19 July 2018

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With rail networks in disarray and commuters up in arms at recent service failures, rail network users will be pleased to hear that the industry is appointing an ombudsman to resolve disputes and complaints against train operators.

The industry body representing rail companies the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has appointed an organisation called the Dispute Resolution Ombudsman to rule on customer complaints. The RDG say that this is the first ombudsman for the industry and it will have the power to hold train companies to account. The RDG adds that decisions made by the ombudsman will be legally binding for train companies.

The RDG say that customers are unhappy with the outcomes of rail complaints currently and this change means they will be able to have their grievances formally ruled upon by an independent body. The new service will launch in November 2018.

Rail Minister, Jo Johnson, MP comments: “When train companies fall short, it is vital that passengers get the redress they deserve and are treated with respect.

“This is an important step by the industry - an independent and effective ombudsman, working closely with consumer groups, will ensure passengers get a fair deal and give them a stronger voice. And it will also help the rail companies to improve their service to passengers.”

Kevin Grix, chief executive and chief ombudsman at the Dispute Resolution Ombudsman adds: “We are delighted to be appointed the Ombudsman for Rail and are looking forward to launching our service in November 2018. With our legal foundation and decades of experience providing alternative dispute resolution to some of the UK’s most recognised retailers we are well placed to support future improvement in the rail sector.”

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