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Can I get a refund on my train tickets during the rail strikes, do I need to rebook and how will I get my money back?



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National Rail says it is doing all it can to honour passengers' tickets during the rail strikes but admits the industrial action is going to cause 'significant disruption'.

With three further walkouts planned for the peak of the school holidays, many people are now faced with cancelling or rearranging their summer plans.

Train strikes are set to take place on July 30 and August 18 and 20
Train strikes are set to take place on July 30 and August 18 and 20

Strikes on Saturday, July 30 and again on August 18 and 20 are set to cause havoc with timetables as everyone from Network Rail staff to train drivers and staff at 14 train operating companies walk out in ongoing disputes over pay and working conditions.

Passengers with train travel already booked, says National Rail Inquiries which is part of the nationwide Rail Delivery Group, have three main options when it comes to what to do with their existing train tickets and here's what they are:

The Delay Repay compensation scheme could also be available if disruption meets the threshold
The Delay Repay compensation scheme could also be available if disruption meets the threshold

1. Refunds

If your service has been cancelled, delayed or rescheduled by the strikes that have been announced you should be entitled to a change or refund from the original retailer you bought your ticket from. An admin fee, which should be no more than £10, will apply however to changes to an advance ticket made between 6pm the day before you plan to travel and the departure of the first booked service.

If services are delayed because of the strike action and the disruption meets the Delay Repay threshold, passengers will be entitled to compensation and must contact the train company that they travelled with for reimbursement or details about how to make that claim.

London Underground travel may not be valid on an alternative date to that booked. Photo: iStock.
London Underground travel may not be valid on an alternative date to that booked. Photo: iStock.

2. Change your travel plans

If you are able to complete your journey on an alternative date either side of the scheduled strike, there may be an option to do so without needing to make too many changes, if any, to your ticket.

If you have a ticket for travel for July 30, when no trains are expected to run, you can use this ticket either on the day before the date on the ticket or through to and including Tuesday, August 2 says the National Rail Inquiries website.

This does not apply for season ticket holders and if you booked a journey that includes crossing London, it will not be valid on London Underground services on that alternative date.

Further contingency plans for the two later strikes are currently in the process of being implemented but more details can be found here.

Passengers may be able to take an alternative route using their pre-booked ticket
Passengers may be able to take an alternative route using their pre-booked ticket

3. Change your operator or route

This could be easier said than done, but to help minimise any disruption, suggests train operators, you may be able to use your ticket on another train company or an alternative route to get to your intended destination.

Passengers wishing to take up this option should contact the train company they are booked and paid to travel with for more information and alternative options for their route. Learn more about that here.

Queues at the Port of Dover on July 22, with traffic gridlocking the town for hours
Queues at the Port of Dover on July 22, with traffic gridlocking the town for hours

The rail strikes are likely to add to the woes of travellers at the start of the summer holidays thanks to cross-Channel chaos in Kent at the Port of Dover.

Passengers trying to get to Europe have faced extensive delays at passport control which has led to gridlock on the county's roads.



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