Rail watchdog 'overwhelmed' by complaints

7th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

7 March 2006, BRUSSELS — The ombudsman of the Belgian rail operator NMBS-SNCB raised concern about train delays after it revealed on Tuesday that it processed 2,961 complaints last year.

7 March 2006

BRUSSELS — The ombudsman of the Belgian rail operator NMBS-SNCB raised concern about train delays after it revealed on Tuesday that it processed 2,961 complaints last year.

The ombudsman said it especially registered a large amount of complaints about train delays in the last four months of 2005.

It urged in its annual report for an accelerated compensation process for passengers affected by delays, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported.

Most of the complaints related to domestic rail passes (380), followed by delays (332) and train tickets (274). The number of complaints over late trains was double compared with 2004.

Complaints also noticeably increased from September. The ombudsman said since then it has been "overwhelmed with disgruntled reactions from commuters, especially over the strong decline in punctuality".

The number of complaints over missed connections is also growing.
 
The ombudsman urged the NMBS-SNCB to introduce a compensation sysyetm for train delays.

Such a system is outlined in a new operational contract with the government, but the ombudsman said the rail operator is "too defensive" and is taking too long to introduce the system.

"In this dossier, the ombudsman — together with the client — is starting to lose its patience," it said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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