A WHARFEDALE MP has hailed news that local rail passengers can now claim compensation under a 15 minute 'delay and repay' scheme.

Delay and Repay is the common name for a system that reimburses passengers who are held up for more than a certain amount of time.

Local rail operator Northern has up to now operated a scheme that only applies for delays of at least 30 minutes.

That put it out of step with many other franchises - including Southern and Thameslink - who offer compensation after just quarter of an hour.

The Department of Transport has now announced that the 15 minute scheme is to be extended to Northern, whose lines include Airedale and Wharfedale.

MP Alex Sobel (Lab, Leeds North West) said: "I have been banging the drum for the extension of this scheme to Northern for some time now, raising it in meetings with Northern and with the Department of Transport directly.

"I have had a huge volume of correspondence from train passengers who are sick of delays and cancellations. This has been compounded by the recent timetable chaos."

He also hopes more passengers will claim the compensation they are entitled to. He added: "It is important that people know that this compensation is available to them.

"Two thirds of passengers don’t claim for delays which lets train companies off with millions in owed compensation.

"Only by hitting the operators in the pocket will we see an improvement in services."