Posted 27th November 2023 | No Comments

Office of Rail and Road to supervise Rail Ombudsman

The Office of Rail and Road has begun sponsoring the Rail Ombudsman, in line with a commitment in the 2021 Plan for Rail.

The ORR will now hold the Ombudsman to account for independent and impartial provision of its service.

The Ombudsman is the last of port of call for unhappy passengers who have not reached an agreement with the relevant operator or the applicable passenger watchdog – Transport Focus or London Travelwatch.

The ORR has updated how the Ombudsman operates, including new arrangements to make the service more accessible.

The changes include the appointment of a non-executive director with experience of disability and the training of Ombudsman staff about accessibility. There are also new ways for passengers to contact the Ombudsman, and a programme of upgrades to processes and systems to make the service easier to use.

Since the service was introduced in 2018, the Rail Ombudsman has dealt with more than 15,000 cases.

The ORR’s director of strategy, policy and reform Stephanie Tobyn said: ‘The Rail Ombudsman provides confidence to passengers that there is an independent body to turn to where they are unable to resolve a complaint with their train or station operator. In ORR’s new oversight role we’ve improved the model for how the Ombudsman service operates to better serve the needs of passengers.’