SCOTRAIL’S compensation scheme for delayed passengers has come under fire, after research revealed the process is among the UK’s most complicated.

Five operators were each found to require 24 separate details before a claim can be submitted for a refund – ScotRail, Great Anglia, London Northwestern, Transport for Wales and West Midlands Trains – in a study by consumer group Which?

Its review of online claim forms showed customers seeking payouts for disruption face a “fragmented and confusing” system.

Scottish Labour transport spokesman Colin Smyth said: “This is cynical stuff from ScotRail, given the thousands of passengers who will suffer from delayed, cancelled and overcrowded trains.

“Passengers shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get the compensation they are due for a shambolic service.”

Scottish Tory counterpart Jamie Greene said: “Obviously some level of detail is required to safeguard against fraud but it’s hard to see how 24 pieces of information could be necessary. If ScotRail made it more straightforward it would much improve goodwill between them and passengers, something which is sadly severely lacking at present.”

The firm’s delay repay guarantee allows customers to be compensated if their journey is delayed by 30 minutes or more. People came also claim back the cost of a missed connection.

A ScotRail spokesman said: “We know how much of an inconvenience it is to customers when things don’t go to plan, and it is only right that they are compensated when that happens. The delay repay system is easy to use and we regularly remind our customers to claim for compensation if their journey is delayed by 30 minutes or more.”

Jacqueline Starr, chief operating officer at the Rail Delivery Group, which represents rail firms, said: “Asking questions like what train they caught and the price of their ticket ensures passengers receive what they are entitled to as quickly as possible, while also guarding against fraudulent claims.

“We’re doing more to encourage claims, which has led to an 80% increase in compensation over the last two years to £81 million a year.”