On March 15th a train I was due to catch from Carnforth to Lancaster was cancelled, delaying me by 45 minutes and entitling me to one free ticket to anywhere served by Northern Trains under their Delay Repay scheme.
Previous posts have catalogued the progress (or lack of it) since then, which to summarise have comprised a reminder email to Northern and two emails to watchdog Passenger Focus. In return all I'd had from Northern was a belated acknowledgement of my claim, followed eventually by an email admitting I was entitled to compensation and promising to send a cheque for all of 55p "within ten days"
I emailed back immediately to point out that I had chosen the free ticket rather the cash option (for fairly obvious reasons) but heard nothing. But whilst I was away on my bus trip Around the County Towns of England a letter arrived at home containing:
Whilst it isn't what I asked for, it seems to explain a lot about the delay. The hand-written cheque conjures up visions of Dickensian offices where clerks equipped with quill pens sit perched on high stools toiling over reams of parchment delay claims and pausing only whilst frock-coated messengers call by to pick up the cheques and take them to the Overseer's office for signature - and, of course, counter-signature. After all, it's fifty-five new pence we are talking about here! No wonder its taken them ten weeks to respond!
Seriously though, what sort of organisation of the size of Northern Rail still writes its cheques by hand! But whilst I'm grateful for the personal attention I'll be sending the cheque back and asking for my free ticket.
Just for clarification - I don't actually give a toss about the 55 pence - or the free ticket for that matter, but rather it's now become a matter of: "I've started, so I'll finish".
Quite when I'll finish though is another matter. When I arrived at York on the bus last Wednesday evening I was due to make my way to Knaresborough to stay the night with friends. Due to the absence of a through bus service I planned to take the train: IT WAS CANCELLED!
This one will run and run (unlike the trains).