Ombudsman Services has welcomed the appointment of a single ombudsman for the rail industry, hailing the announcement of the model as positive news for passengers.
The Dispute Resolution Ombudsman will take up the role in November, having been appointed by the Rail Delivery Group.
Matthew Vickers, chief executive and chief ombudsman designate at Ombudsman Services, said: “The decision to create a single ombudsman scheme for the rail sector is good news for passengers, many of whom have endured significant and well-documented problems – particularly in recent months.
“We firmly believe that having a single ombudsman per sector is the right way to go as it delivers the best experience for consumers, for example by ensuring that making a complaint is simple and straightforward.
“We know from our experience as the sole ombudsman in the energy sector that the new rail ombudsman will have the opportunity to use complaints data to create meaningful consumer insights and ultimately improve industry standards.
“It’s vital for consumers that this opportunity is seized, and that the new provider offers a quick and frictionless service for handling unresolved complaints. The single ombudsman model should really help to deliver that.
“It’s also important that the new rail ombudsman works closely with Transport Focus, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) to put consumers and great customer service at the centre of the rail industry.”
He added: “We submitted a bid to become the rail ombudsman and, whilst we are disappointed to have missed out on this occasion, we would like to congratulate the Dispute Resolution Ombudsman.
“We wish the team there every success as they look to improve redress for passengers. We would also like to thank the Rail Delivery Group for the opportunity to take part in the tender and selection process.”