Our Full Passenger Charter
Welcome to CrossCountry
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Our network - stretching from Aberdeen to Penzance, Bournemouth to Manchester and Stansted Airport to Cardiff - covers over 1,400 miles and serves over 100 stations. You can travel with us to reach most parts of the country, and if there's not a direct train you can get to many places by making just one change.
Introduction - Our commitment to you
Welcome to CrossCountry. We want you to enjoy travelling with us, from the moment you start to plan your journey to the time you reach your destination. Our Passenger's Charter sets out our commitments to you so that you can judge us against our promises. We have tried to make our Charter clear and easy to read but because it is a formal commitment from us to you, we will use some technical terms.
We will review our Charter annually in consultation with Transport Focus, the independent national rail watchdog.
When travelling with us, we endeavour to provide the following:
- a convenient and reliable service for planning your journey
- convenient facilities for buying tickets
- a welcoming and efficient customer service team on our trains
- a reliable train service which is on time
- clean trains and stations
- a safe environment at stations and on our trains
- a seat on our trains if you reserve one beforehand
- a fair outcome when things go wrong
This Passenger's Charter sets out:
- our standards
- how we measure the standards against our actual performance and then publish the results
- how we look after you during your journey
- how we look after you and make amends when things go wrong
- how we work with others in the National Rail industry
- how you can contact us
As part of our opportunity to judge how we are performing against our standards, we may ask you to take part in one of our customer service surveys. We would very much like to hear your views; whether you have had a good experience travelling with us or not. It is important for us to find out what is important to you and how you feel about the services we offer. Our teams review these surveys along with the information we collect ourselves, and this helps us continually improve the service we offer you.
You should feel welcome when travelling with us, and we realise that our staff have the opportunity to make a very positive difference to your journey. You should expect our staff to be smartly dressed, wearing a name badge, and ready to respond to you in a friendly and professional way. All the members of our team take part in our customer service training programmes so that they can confidently and safely deal with a range of situations and circumstances, making sure your journey with us is as relaxed as possible. Our train crews have been specially chosen and trained to help you and will make every effort to sort out any problems you might experience during your journey with us.
We will continue to develop new service improvements, so please let us know if you have any ideas about how we could make your service better. We will also work with our partners who run the stations, to find ways of improving access to stations, information and facilities such as seating and lighting. If you have any suggestions about stations, do contact us.
Planning your journey
Information about timetables and fares
We will give you unbiased travel information about journeys across the National Rail network, whether you are travelling with us or with other train companies. You can get train times and fares information in a number of different ways:
- from crosscountrytrains.co.uk
- from our mobile phone app Train Tickets
- from our telesales service (0844 811 0124)
- through National Rail Enquiries (either through nationalrail.co.uk or by calling 03457 48 49 50, calls may be recorded)
- from ticket offices or machines provided by other train companies
Details can be found in the Useful Contacts section at the end of this Passenger's Charter.
You can create your own timetable at crosscountrytrains.co.uk and get the times you need in a handy, easy to use format. Simply enter your journey details and we'll send you back your timetable - by e-mail or to download - which can include connections and other operator's services. We also publish a number of timetables free of charge, which you can get from staffed stations across our network. In addition, we also offer a dedicated Train Tickets app, which is available free of charge and for the vast majority of handsets. For details of how to download, visit crosscountrytrains.co.uk.
During times of severe weather, the railway will usually continue to run, but we may have to amend our timetables to take account of the weather conditions. Our trains run across an extensive network and can experience very different weather conditions during their journeys. We have planned emergency timetables for when this happens, and will let you know as soon as possible if we need to put them in place.
Track improvement work
Our network is heavily used by both passenger and freight trains, and Network Rail is constantly maintaining and repairing railway tracks, signalling and stations. At times, this work may mean that we have to alter our timetables or provide road transport to replace the train services. We may also offer taxis in some circumstances. We plan most of this work well beforehand, and we will try to warn you when you book your ticket. We will ensure that any disruption to your journey is kept to a minimum.
Where track improvement work is planned on lines used by our trains, we will display posters at staffed stations at which we call to tell you about changes to train times. These posters will give details of any longer journey times and rail replacement road transport. We will try to give at least 28 days’ notice of any planned changes to train times and as much notice as possible of any track improvement work. All this information will also be made available at crosscountrytrains.co.uk. The National Rail Enquiries website (nationalrail.co.uk) and telephone line 03457 48 49 50 (textphone 08456 050 600) will also be able to give details of any planned track improvement work, including changes to train times and rail replacement road transport, normally 12 weeks beforehand.
If Network Rail needs to carry out any emergency engineering work, we may not be able to give very much notice of alterations to services but we will display information as soon as possible on our website, and ensure that it appears on the station information screens where our trains call, and other media where available.
You can now buy your PlusBus tickets with your train tickets at crosscountrytrains.co.uk. PlusBus is a discount-price ticket for unlimited bus travel in many towns and cities across Great Britain that you buy with your train ticket. Bus travel can be at the start, the finish, or both ends of your train journey. Visit plusbus.info for more information.
Buying your ticket
You must hold a valid ticket before you travel. If you board one of our trains without a ticket you will be charged the full single fare or full return fare unless the ticket office at the station where you boarded the train is closed or there is no working ticket machine available (in which case you must buy one from our on board staff).
There are a number of different types of ticket and journey costs to fit different travel times and patterns. There will, from time to time, be special promotional fares on offer. Normally for longer-distance journeys, buying your ticket well beforehand and being able to say which trains you want to travel on can greatly reduce the fare you pay.
You can get information and buy your ticket in a number of different ways. These are set out below.
Buying your ticket through the Internet
You can buy a ticket at crosscountrytrains.co.uk for any train company in Great Britain. The booking process will help you choose the ticket which best suits your needs, allowing you to easily compare prices and ticket options. For certain services you can print your ticket at home - this is an e-ticket, when booking a CrossCountry Advance fare through our website you can select exactly which seat you want to reserve from a plan of the train layout.
Buying your ticket through our Train Tickets app
You can buy tickets for any train company through our smartphone app. If you buy a CrossCountry Advance ticket, you can have this sent direct to your phone as an m-ticket. Alternatively, you can buy your tickets through the app and collect them from the self-service ticket machine at the station.
Buying your ticket over the telephone
You can buy a ticket for any train company through our booking line 0844 811 0124. During the booking process, your advisor will help you choose the best ticket that suits your needs. You can arrange for tickets to be posted to you or you can collect the tickets from certain stations on the day you travel. If you choose to have your tickets posted to you, we will send you your ticket by First Class post, but please allow five working days from the date you order (you can also pay by cheque and National Rail Travel Vouchers, but please allow up to three weeks from the date you order).
Buying your ticket from a station
You can buy tickets at most stations, either at the ticket office where the station has ticket staff, or from self-service ticket machines. The times that ticket offices are open are clearly displayed at the station, and are also listed on the station facilities pages of our website. Station posters will also give information about how to buy a ticket outside those hours. We do not operate the ticket offices at stations at which our trains call. The times of peak demand will be displayed at the station - please be patient if you go to the station at these busiest times as you may have to queue a bit longer. You should be served within five minutes at peak times and three minutes at off-peak times. Ticket offices accept cash, cheques (supported by a valid cheque card), most credit and debit cards and National Rail Travel Vouchers.
Self-service ticket machines at many principal stations also sell a wide range of tickets for CrossCountry journeys and other train services. These machines often accept credit and debit cards as well as cash.
Although we don't run the stations, we will work closely with each station operator to make sure the service you receive meets our standards. We also know that many of our customers depend on connecting services to and from the CrossCountry network. When you change trains, we will give station operators at the interchange standards to follow to ensure these connections are supported as effectively as possible.
If you are not satisfied with the service provided at a station, you should first contact the station operator or refer to the relevant Passenger's Charter (details of station operators can be found by contacting National Rail Enquiries). But always let us know, too, if any part of your journey with us did not meet your expectations. Even if it is a matter about a station, we will follow it up.
The National Rail Conditions of Travel
The National Rail Conditions of Travel sets out the legal contract that you have with the Train Companies when you buy a ticket and travel with us. You can get a copy of the conditions free of charge at all staffed stations or from our Customer Relations Team. Details of the conditions are also on the National Rail website.
Many of our tickets already include seat reservations on specified trains. Even if you buy your ticket through another operator, you can ask them to reserve you a seat free of charge when travelling with us. If for some reason we cannot honour your reservation please ask a member of the on-board team for help. Our staff will try their best to find you a seat.
If you are still without a seat after 20 minutes a member of the on-board team will be happy to endorse your ticket if you ask. You may send your endorsed ticket in to our Customer Relations Team who will give you National Rail Vouchers to the value of at least 5% of the price for that journey in recognition of our inability to honour your seat reservation.
If you are travelling with a bike and we cannot honour your reservation we ask that you speak to a member of the on-board team or station staff so your ticket can be endorsed.
If your journey was delayed as a result and you send your ticket to our Customer Relations Team we will offer recompense against the price of your rail ticket under our Delay Repay scheme.
In accordance with your legal rights as a consumer, including those under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, you may be eligible to a different level of compensation where CrossCountry is at fault and nothing set out above is intended to limit or exclude your legal rights in these circumstances. If you believe this applies to your journey, please contact our Customer Relations
If you are travelling in a group of 10 or more people we ask that you contact our Group Travel team on 0371 244 2388. You can also complete an online form at crosscountrytrains.co.uk and we'll e-mail or call you back to discuss your requirements. The Group Travel team is best placed to meet the needs of your booking, and will make sure you get the best deal for your journey.
CrossCountry Passenger Assist- How we look after you if you need extra help
We want travelling with us to be easy and enjoyable for all our customers and we can arrange extra help if you need it throughout your journey. By contacting us ahead of time we can, where possible, arrange for a member of staff to meet and help you at staffed stations and on the train, not just when travelling with us but across the wider rail network as well. Our Passenger Assist reservation team will give you advice on the facilities available at stations and on our trains. If you need help getting on and off the train, we will make arrangements for you to be met at the station you start from, the station you leave the railway at, and with any changes your journey involves.
To ensure that the best possible assistance is provided we recommend that you let us know 24 hours before you travel. Our Passenger Assist service allows reservations to be made through the railway's central Assisted Passenger Reservation Service. We strongly recommend that reservations are made - even if you can't give 24 hours’ notice. There will however be occasions where this may not be possible. In these circumstances, we will do everything possible to provide the appropriate accommodation and all necessary assistance. If you have not pre-arranged your journey please advise the station staff at your departure station or a member of the on-board team, who will endeavour to arrange help for you. Priority will however be given to passengers who have booked assistance and seats or wheelchair spaces in advance.
There are a number of ways to contact us so we can help you plan your journey:
- by telephone 0800 030 9224 (Freephone, including from mobiles)
- by textphone 0800 030 9230
- online at crosscountrytrains.co.uk, where you can book your assistance when you buy your ticket (please aim to give us at least 48 hours' notice when arranging assistance online)
We also publish an extensive Accessible Travel Policy (ATP) which sets out the full range of services you can expect from us. This includes the option to buy your ticket on the train without facing any extra charges or penalties, if, due to your disability, you are unable to buy your ticket at the station. If you hold a valid Disabled Persons Railcard you can purchase the full range of discounted tickets on board the train.
You can look at the ATP on our website or get a copy by calling 0344 811 0125 (textphone 0344 811 0126) or by contacting our Customer Relations Team. We can also provide timetables and other information, including this Charter, in other formats such as in large print and on audiotape.
We know that many people who are not disabled sometimes need help. If you need help or advice for any reason, get in touch with us on the numbers above. We can help you if you are older or travelling with young children, or feel that travelling by train for whatever reason may be difficult. We want you to travel with us and we will always try to help where we can.
Travelling on our trains
You will receive a warm welcome on our trains, and we expect you to find them in a safe and clean condition. We know that all our customers have their own particular needs when they are on the train or changing trains at stations and we offer assistance to make your journey as easy as possible.
On-board catering services
We offer an at-seat service of food and drink on most of our services. Our catering services are subject to availability and may need to be amended (sometimes at short notice), however if we are not able to provide the expected catering service, we will endeavour to let you know before you board the train so that you can make other arrangements. To find out which trains have catering on-board visit our website - crosscountrytrains.co.uk.
We have a Quiet Coach on our High Speed Trains which operate selected services between the South West, the North East and Scotland. For these services, you can reserve a seat in the Quiet Coach when you buy your ticket at crosscountrytrains.co.uk. On all services we ask that you show consideration to others, especially when using mobile phones and other electronic devices.
By law, smoking is not allowed on any part of our trains, or at stations, including station entrances and exits. This includes the use of E-Cigarettes.
Taking your bike on the train
We recognise that many people use a bike to get to the station. We encourage the operators of all the stations we call at to provide secure bike parking. We also welcome passengers who want to take bikes on the train, but space for bikes is limited so we strongly advise you plan ahead and reserve your bike space. You can do this by calling 0844 811 0124. On all services there is reservable space for two bikes. Unreserved bikes will be accepted on a first come, first served basis and subject to space being available for them to be carried safely and securely. Our staff can refuse to allow bikes on the train if there is insufficient space.
Unfortunately, owing to their size and lack of manoeuvrability we are unable to carry tandems or Rann trailers on board our trains. For more information about taking your bike on one of trains visit crosscountrytrains.co.uk or call our Customer Relations Team.
What happens when things go wrong?
We do not expect that problems will arise while you are travelling with us, but we realise that, from time to time, things will go wrong. We promise that we will treat you with respect and extra care at these times.
All our staff are given training to cover situations when things go wrong, so we can quickly make decisions and let you know what is happening. We will also consult our station suppliers concerning training for their staff who give service on our behalf. You will appreciate that not all situations are the same but we do have emergency plans to put in place to limit the effects of any problem that arises during your journey with us.
How we deal with delays
We appreciate that a delay to your train is always frustrating, whether you are waiting at a station or already on board. Our staff are trained to identify and sort out any problems you experience as a result of a delay to your train. We will always do our best to let you know about any delays as they arise before you board the train.
Even when delayed, the train will usually be the quickest way to get you to your destination. If, however, your train is cancelled and the next train doesn't leave for more than two hours, we will provide other transport. Normally this transport will take you to the nearest available station where you can continue your journey. Either we or the station operator may choose to provide other transport to your destination station. A number of our trains travel long distances and if it is not possible to get you to a destination which you have bought a ticket for by train (or by other transport), we will offer overnight accommodation.
If you have a flight to catch from an airport near to a station served by CrossCountry trains, we will normally only consider providing alternative transport if you planned your rail journey to arrive at the airport station at least two hours before the recommended check in time. If you're catching a ferry or cruise liner, we advise you to plan your journey to aim to get to the relevant terminal two hours before the recommended check in time.
We will endeavour to give you full information about the delay to your journey, whether you are at a station or on one of our trains. Our on-board team will help you plan the rest of your journey. Where possible, we will also pass on information to the people meeting you at your destination. If it is not possible to get you to your destination, either by train or other transport, we will get you back to your starting station and make special arrangements if you become stranded.
We will use all available means to advise you when you may be eligible for compensation including the following:
- Where applicable announcements will be made on board regarding compensation entitlements and how to claim
- Our website shows how you can claim your compensation
- Our Social Media team will inform you about Delays and how to claim under our Delay Repay scheme
- We promote Delay Repay through news posters at all stations continuously
- We provide information about Delay Repay via customer e-mails
You might be entitled to a refund if you bought a ticket and did not use it. We sell some reduced price tickets on the understanding that refunds are not available, but we will remind you of this when you buy the ticket.
- If the train you planned to catch is delayed or cancelled and as a result you decide not to travel, we will give you a full refund if you return your ticket to any ticket office. Alternatively you may claim a refund by writing to our Customer Relations Manager (but no more than 28 days later).
- If you bought your ticket online with us and you require a refund you can do this online or by calling 0371 244 2389. You will be asked to return your unused tickets.
- If you bought your ticket online with someone else you will need to contact them for a refund. They will be able to provide details on how to do this.
- If the train service is running normally and you decide not to use a ticket for your own reasons, you may be entitled to a refund (please note that in such cases Advance tickets are not refundable). You can return tickets within 28 days to any ticket office. They will tell you if your ticket is eligible for a refund. We may charge an administration fee of up to £10 for refunds. If you bought your ticket from a travel agent, you must return the tickets to that travel agent.
- If you have a Season ticket but you no longer need it, please return it immediately to the ticket office where you bought it (or to our Customer Relations Team). The amount we will refund is based on the difference between the cost of the Season ticket you originally bought and the cost of a Season ticket for the period up to the date you returned the ticket to us.
Please remember that if you have a Season ticket and you are not able to travel for more than four weeks because of certified sickness (an illness for which you have a doctor's certificate for example), you may apply for a refund of part of the ticket you have not used. We may ask you for evidence to support your claim.
If our trains were running late
If your journey with us was delayed by 30 minutes or more to the destination printed on your ticket, irrespective of what caused the delay you will normally receive compensation based on the following guidelines:
- 50% of the cost of your single ticket or 50% of the cost of either portion of your return ticket for delays of between 30 and 59 minutes; or
- 100% of the cost of your single ticket or 100% of the cost of either portion of your return ticket for delays of 60 minutes or more.
- If either or both the outward or return legs of your journey is delayed by more than two hours and you have a return ticket, you will be entitled to receive up to 100% of the cost of the return ticket.
In the case of Season tickets, Delay Repay compensation is calculated based on the proportional single ticket price paid for that journey. For example, the daily proportional cost of a seven day ticket is calculated based on an assumption that ten single journeys are made per working week (five return journeys).
Season ticket type
Value of each single journey
1/464 x total price
1/120 x total price
1/40 x total price
1/10 x total price
*Individual season ticket compensation calculations may differ, depending on the ticket validity.
Should a period of sustained poor performance be experienced, we will consider compensating Season ticket holders over and above the arrangements outlined above. In doing so, we will consult Transport Focus, the independent national rail consumer watchdog.
You can claim compensation for a delay online or print and complete our Delay Repay Form (PDF). Postage-paid Delay Repay claim forms are also available from ticket offices at stations on our network and on our trains. When trains are seriously disrupted, we will make forms more widely available where possible. You can post that form to us and we will issue the compensation right away. If you are not able to collect a Delay Repay claim form, you may also claim by writing to our Customer Relations Team, giving details of your journey and the delay. In all cases, please make your claim within 28 days of the date of the delay. The full contact details are shown in the Useful Contacts section at the end of this leaflet
We do not normally accept claims for compensation if trains are delayed or cancelled and you were aware of the delay before you bought your ticket.
In the event that we introduce an emergency timetable, compensation will be based on the emergency timetable.
Your compensation checklist
So that we can process your application and get your compensation back to you, please make sure that you let us have:
- either the original ticket, your booking confirmation e-mail or your unique journey number, or in the case of Season tickets a photocopy of the ticket and your photocard;
- your name and the address for our reply; and
- information about your journey - the date you travelled, where you were travelling from and to, and how long you were delayed.
Please also make sure that you choose how you would like us to pay you your compensation when you submit your claim. We pay compensation in:
- Bank Transfer (BACS)
- National Rail Travel Vouchers so that you can spend them on any rail journey - it does not have to be a journey on our trains.
Many of the stations we serve have automatic ticket gates. These gates are supervised during their hours of operation. If you need to retain your ticket on completion of your journey, instead of using the gates please show your ticket to a member of staff.
In accordance with your legal rights as a consumer, including those under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, you may be eligible to a different level of compensation where CrossCountry is at fault and nothing set out above is intended to limit or exclude your legal rights in these circumstances. If you believe this applies to your journey, please contact our Customer Relations team.
After your journey
Having your say
We hope you will have enjoyed your journey with us and we look forward to seeing you again. If you have noticed any exceptional service offered by a member of our staff, we would be delighted to pass on your thanks to the person concerned. If you have any comments, ideas or complaints about any of our facilities or services, we would also like to hear from you. To make it easy for you to make your comments and compliments, we have a pre-printed Freepost form which you can get from stations we stop at or on our trains. Or, you can send in your comments through crosscountrytrains.co.uk.
You can contact our Customer Relations Team by telephone, by e-mail, through our website, or in writing - the full details are shown in the Useful Contacts section at the end of this Passenger's Charter. We will always aim to send you a full reply within ten working days. If we cannot give you our full response within this time, we will send you an acknowledgement and let you know when you should expect to hear more from us.
If you are delayed on the services of another operator and you write to us, we will ensure your letter gets sent to the right people and let you know to whom we forwarded it.
Please give us the opportunity to try to resolve your complaint. If you’re unhappy with the response you receive, you have the right to appeal to the Rail Ombudsman. The Rail Ombudsman is there to help resolve on going complaints between us and our customers. It’s free to use their services and they are independent of the rail industry. They don’t take sides, but just look at the evidence available. They will help us both to try to reach an agreement, but if this doesn’t happen, they will make a decision based on the evidence they’ve received. If you agree with their decision, then we have to act on what they say.
You can appeal to the Rail Ombudsman if:
· you’re unhappy with our final response to your complaint which will be contained in a letter or email (sometimes called a ‘deadlock letter’); or
· we haven’t resolved your complaint within 40 working days of receiving it; and
· no more than 12 months have passed since we sent you our final response.
There are some complaints that the Rail Ombudsman won’t be able to look into, for example if it’s about the way one of our services has been designed, industry policy, or if your complaint relates to an event which took place before the Rail Ombudsman service was established. If that’s the case, then they’ll contact you to let you know. If possible, they will transfer your complaint to another organisation that may be able to help you further, such as Transport Focus – the independent consumer watchdog for the rail industry. They will independently review your complaint and where appropriate, follow things up on your behalf.
Website: (including online chat): www.railombudsman.org
Telephone: 0330 094 0362
Textphone: 0330 094 0363
Post: FREEPOST – RAIL OMBUDSMAN
The Ombudsman Contact Centre team are available:
Monday to Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Public performance measures
Working with Network Rail, we continually aim to make our train services more reliable and run on time. We monitor all our services every day, including Sundays and Bank Holidays, to check that we are achieving this aim.
The standard measure used throughout the rail industry in Great Britain is known as the Public Performance Measure (PPM). We have adopted this as our principal tool to report our performance to you. PPM is a combined measure of how many trains timetabled to operate have run throughout the entire route and calling points and how many have arrived at their final destination within ten minutes of their advertised time.
Our aim is to steadily improve our performance against this measure during the life of the franchise and have set a target of 91.0% to be achieved by the end of it. This represents a significant improvement on the levels of performance achieved on the routes which came together to form CrossCountry.
You will find our current performance measurements on our website and on posters at principal stations across the network.
Confidentiality and Data Protection
At all times such use and storage will be in accordance with the General Data protection Regulation (GDPR) and any other relevant legislation from time to time.
Information about timetables and fares
Telephone: 03457 48 49 50 (24 hours. Calls are charged at local rates and may be recorded)
Textphone: 08456 050 600
Buying a ticket
You can buy a ticket from your local station, the CrossCountry website or just give us a call.
Telesales: 0844 811 0124
How we look after you if you need extra help.
Freephone: 0800 030 9224
Telephone: 0800 030 9230
Telephone: 03447 369123
Website: crosscountrytrains.co.uk (go to the 'Contact us' section)
Post: Customer Relations Manager
5th Floor Cannon House
18 The Priory Queensway
Telephone: 03447 369 123
Textphone: 0121 200 6420
Fax: 0121 200 6005
A copy of our Complaints Handling Procedure can be obtained from crosscountrytrains.co.uk or by contacting our Customer Relations Team.
If you have a complaint and are not satisfied with the response you receive, you can ask to hear directly from one of our Managers. If the issue is subsequently not resolved to your satisfaction, you can contact the Rail Ombudsman by:
Telephone: 0330 094 0362
Textphone: 0330 094 0363
Post: FREEPOST - RAIL OMBUDSMAN