Rail giant Go-Ahead faces £ 74million lawsuit over overcharging allegations

The lawsuit against Govia Thameslink Railway, which also operates Great Northern and Southern services, will be brought before the Competition Appeal Tribunal this week by consumer activist Justin Gutmann.

Gutmann obtained legal permission last month to bring a class action lawsuit against Govia and two other rail operators – the Southwestern and Southeastern Rail Franchises – for compensation worth up to £ 93million sterling.

The claim alleges that passengers did not have sufficient access to so-called ‘border fares’ – under which travelers holding a London Travelcard should be offered discounted tickets taking them from the outer limit from any area covered by the card to their final destination.

This effectively prevents London commuters from being charged twice for overlapping sections on the same route.

It is alleged that the companies have not made the “border fares” sufficiently available for Travelcard holders to purchase, nor have they made their existence fully known to passengers.

Some 240 million journeys since November 2015 could have benefited from border tariffs if travelers had known about them, it is claimed.

A spokesperson for GTR said: “We are aware of this proposed claim. If the claim progresses, we will present our observations to the court in due course. ”

Great Northern serves destinations such as Cambridge, Peterborough, King’s Lynn and Ely while Thameslink is a key suburban line to central London connecting Brighton, St Albans, Bedford, East Grinstead and Luton Airport.

Southern serves destinations such as Brighton, Hastings, Portsmouth, Southampton, Eastbourne and Milton Keynes.

Retired Gutmann, who spent eight years working for the London Underground before becoming head of research for Citizens’ Advice, jointly charged law firms Charles Lyndon and Hausfeld & Co in connection with the claim.

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