MAITLAND WALKER LLP ACTS FOR HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF RAIL PASSENGERS IN DAMAGES CLAIM AGAINST GOVIA THAMESLINK RAILWAY FOR OVERCHARGING
Maitland Walker has filed an opt-out collective claim against Govia Thameslink Railway Limited (“GTR”) and its parent companies for over £400 million, on behalf of a class of around 1 million consumers.
It is alleged that GTR abuses its dominance in the markets for rail tickets on the Brighton mainline by issuing tickets that, in breach of the fare-setting regulations, unlawfully restrict travel to Southern and/or Thameslink train brands when tickets should permit travel on all three GTR train brands (Gatwick Express, Southern and Thameslink). GTR inflates the prices passengers pay for fares allowing travel on two or all three GTR train brands when passengers should be permitted to travel on all three brands.
It is also alleged that GTR unlawfully inflates fares where passengers use Oyster or contactless payment to tap in or tap out at London Victoria platforms 13 and 14, which are serviced mainly by Gatwick Express branded trains.
Julian Maitland-Walker, Managing Partner, said:
“This claim is about seeking redress for the passengers that have been required to pay higher prices for travel rights that they should have had in any event. These rights are set out in the fare setting regulations with which GTR is required to comply. We are delighted to be instructed on this case which is exactly the type of claim that the opt-out regime was designed for, and we hope to recover damages for those passengers that have overpaid to travel.”
The Claim states that the fare-setting regulatory regime does not entitle GTR to issue fares limited to only Southern and/or Thameslink train brands (except for advance fares) but requires GTR’s fares to permit travel on all three brands. By charging higher prices for fares permitting travel on two or all three GTR train brands, GTR is abusing its dominant position in the market for rail services on the London-Brighton mainline in breach of Chapter II of the Competition Act 1998.
Similarly, where passengers pay using Oyster or contactless payment and tap in or tap out at London Victoria platforms 13 and 14 they pay more for the same journey than if they tapped in or tapped out at other platforms at London Victoria, in breach of the regulatory regime.