The HE operator behind Gatwick Express and Thameslink is being sued for £73 million for regularly charging over 3 million passengers for London rail travel.
The claim against the Govia Thameslink Railway, which also runs Great Northern and Southern services, will be filed this week at the Competition Appeals Tribunal by consumer campaigner Justin Gutmann.
Gutmann last month secured legal sanction to take collective action against Govia and two other rail operators – South Western and South Eastern Rail franchises – seeking compensation of up to £93 million.
The claim alleges that passengers were not given adequate access to so-called ‘border fares’ – whereby passengers holding London Travelcards were given discounted tickets by taking them from the outer limits of any area covered by the card to their final destination. should be offered.
This effectively prevents London commuters from being charged twice for overlapping parts of the same journey.
The companies are alleged to have not sufficiently provided travelcard holders with ‘limit fares’ for purchases, nor made travelers fully aware of their existence.
It is claimed that around 240 million trips since November 2015 could have benefited from border fares if travelers had known about it.
A GTR spokesperson said: “We are aware of this proposed claim. If the claim proceeds, we will have our say in the Tribunal at an appropriate time.”
Great Northern serves destinations including Cambridge, Peterborough, King’s Lynn and Ely, while the Thameslink is an important commuter line for central London connecting Brighton, St Albans, Bedford, East Grinstead and Luton Airports.
Southern serves destinations including Brighton, Hastings, Portsmouth, Southampton, Eastbourne and Milton Keynes.
The retired Gutman, who spent eight years working for the London Underground before becoming head of research for Citizen Advice, has jointly directed the law firm Charles Lyndon and Hausfeld & Company in the claim.