Transport for West Midlands launches new refund scheme

Photo: Facebook
Photo: Facebook

THOUSANDS of West Midlands travel pass holders can now claim refunds on their bus, train and tram season tickets under a new scheme developed by the Transport for West Midlands (TfWM). The scheme covers season tickets, such as the nBus, nTrain or nNetwork passes, sold and administered by TfWM on behalf of bus, rail and tram operators.

Refunds will be given to those who have not travelled to work, school or college, either because they are self-isolating, working from home or on furlough. The refund will be back-dated to the last day the travel pass was used after March 16.

According to an official statement, as many as 5,957 people have come forward to claim their money back since the start of April.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “Since lockdown began we have discouraged people from using public transport unless journeys are absolutely essential, and I am delighted that so many people have listened to the advice and helped us in the fight against coronavirus.

“However, many people who are now not travelling could be left out of pocket because they have already purchased season tickets. It is therefore only right that TfWM arranges refunds.”

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“We have set out clear guidance for people who have purchased their travel pass from TfWM to claim a refund if they are working from home, self-isolating or been put on furlough for the lockdown,” said Cllr Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council.

“These refunds can provide extra financial help in particular for some of those who have seen their income reduced through no fault of their own and I would urge everyone eligible to come forward and claim their money back.”

The region’s largest bus operator National Express West Midlands has refunded thousands of customers.

Daljit Kalirai, National Express’ sales director, said: “We are all working together as hard as we can in these difficult times to clear the backlog, and we have now refunded 12,000 customers.

“We are looking forward to welcoming people safely back on to our buses when things start returning to normal. And we are making it as simple as possible for our customers to start travelling again and get the best payment option for them. There’ll be updates on our website in the next few weeks.”