Hardly a day goes by without the media reporting endless problems with train cancellations and delays, and overcrowded trains is no exception.

The end of August marks the end of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and suffice to say, there are never enough trains laid on to get everyone home. Shocking pictures emerged from one delayed and overcrowded train that was dangerously overcrowded with passengers crammed in toilets and passageways.

You might think that was a one-off, but this is a regular occurrence complete with countless cancellations and delays which makes it virtually impossible to deal with long term. Employers can only cut so much slack and people can only put up with so much, and I have found a link to evidence this which states that the most overcrowded train in England and Wales has 403 passengers on 4 carriages that have 191 seats.

CONSUMER RIGHTS ACT 2015

Whilst commuters are becoming increasingly savvy on claims for delays and cancellations, my point here is that the Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that goods and services purchased under contract have to be of;

  • Satisfactory quality
  • Fit for purpose
  • As described

When you buy a train ticket, you are entering in to a contract with the supplier with a reasonable expectation of being able to have a seat to travel on and not be faced with having to stand in dangerously overcrowded carriages. A ticket should buy the right to travel on a train that provides travel of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.

It’s hardly an unreasonable expectation when you’re paying thousands of pounds for a season ticket. Consumers have rights as well as reasonable expectations.

There are health and safety implications as well. Airlines can’t cram passengers on to planes and drivers can’t cram passengers in to cars like this, so why are train companies exempt?

I think it’s only a matter of time before someone takes the train companies on in the Courts for breach of contract because partial refunds for delays and cancellations can only go so far.

What are your thoughts on this?

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