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Commuter power! Bailiffs ordered in after fed-up train traveller sues Greater Anglia – and wins!

Robin Bowman

Robin Bowman
Mar 14, 2018

Seph Pochin became so incensed with Greater Anglia trains being continually delayed he decided to really make the company pay.

He described the service between his home in Halesworth, Suffolk, and Ipswich as ‘woeful’, with one train delayed by one hour and 40 minutes.

He claimed £350 in compensation after experiencing 183 delays in 550 journeys.

But Greater Anglia failed to pay, and now a warrant has been issued for bailiffs to seize Greater Anglia property to meet the compensation.

The company said it was in a dispute with My Pochin but refused to comment further. 

Mr Pochin, an ecologist, moved to Halesworth in Suffolk a year ago, and became so fed up with delays in the train service he had considered moving to Ipswich to avoid having to travel.

28 hours

He claims the delays between February 2017 and February 2018, amounted to almost 28 hours.

Mr Pochin says his records show the majority of trains were between one and 10 minutes late.

Angry – Seth Pochin

He claims 26 journeys were over 15 minutes late, with the 100-minute delay on a journey last August. 

Greater Anglia has a ‘delay-repay’ scheme, that pays compensation for journeys over 30 minutes late.

Mr Pochin, who wrote regularly to the firm about the poor quality of service, said the 100-minute delay was the final insult.

Small claims court

He used the Consumer Rights Act 2016 and paid £35 to lodge a case at a small claims court to "to highlight the regular deficiencies with the service". 

Mr Pochin and the rail company agreed to mediation to resolve the matter.

When the company failed to give dates for a meeting, Mr Pochin applied for a judgement ruling, which he won last December. Greater Anglia was ordered to hand over £350.

But last month, after still not receiving his money, Mr Pochin paid £77 for a warrant to be served on the company to seize assets worth £350.

Warrant issued

The courts and tribunal service have confirmed a warrant had been issued against the company. It will now have to immediately pay the money or bailiffs have the right to seize its property to an equivalent value.

A spokeswoman for the company said the lines Mr Pochin travels on were being upgraded by Network Rail in a £68m scheme "to make the train service more reliable".

The legislation Mr Pochin used gives rail passengers the same legal protection they receive when paying for other goods and services. 

"Hopefully, this case will result in train operators making compensation for delays easier to get," Stephen Joseph, of the Campaign for Better Transport said.

"However, passengers in general don't want compensation, they want trains that run on time."


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