Fares, rail policy and DfT news

TOCs urged to refund passengers as 20% missing out on best tickets

TOCs urged to refund passengers as 20% missing out on best tickets

14.02.17: TOCs are being urged to refund passengers after a mystery shopper experiment conducted by the rail regulator found that 20% of buyers either selected a more expensive ticket than necessary or put themselves at risk of a penalty fare when using a...

Rail industry agrees to trial most ‘radical’ fares overhaul in 30 years

Rail industry agrees to trial most ‘radical’ fares overhaul in 30 years

01.02.17: Rail companies are set to make it easier for customers to find cheaper train fares in the most radical overhaul of the fares system since the 1980s. First outlined by the DfT last year, the agreement means passengers on trains between Londo...

Rail travel in Britain continues to see long-term boom

Rail travel in Britain continues to see long-term boom

27.01.17: The number of passenger journeys on Great Britain’s railways increased by 5.1% last year, continuing rail’s long-term increase, new figures have revealed. The ORR’s new report on regional rail usage revealed that 1.464 bil...

Ensuring a fair compensation deal

Ensuring a fair compensation deal

24.01.17: Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, on the importance of delivering fair compensation to passengers. What makes a passenger feel that they are getting a fair deal from their train company? Our research shows that the absolute...

GTR apologises after Southern passengers wrongly denied compensation

GTR apologises after Southern passengers wrongly denied compensation

11.01.17: Southern passengers’ compensation applications for widespread delays on the network have been held back by computer errors, the operator’s parent company has admitted. Passengers told the Guardian that the company had rejected t...

Commuters protest for being ‘fleeced’ by steep rail fare hikes

Commuters protest for being ‘fleeced’ by steep rail fare hikes

03.01.17: Protests are taking place at rail stations around the country today (3 January) as the latest hike in rail fares comes into effect. Three campaign groups – Action for Rail, We Own It and Bring Back British Rail – are leading maj...

MPs launch Rail Ombudsman Bill following Southern disruption

MPs launch Rail Ombudsman Bill following Southern disruption

21.12.16: MPs have called for an Ombudsman to oversee the rail industry following the chaos on Southern Rail. Southern services have been severely delayed throughout the year, ultimately forcing it to cancel all trains last week because of an Aslef d...

ORR pushes for ‘next level’ compensation focus as some TOCs making minimal changes

ORR pushes for ‘next level’ compensation focus as some TOCs making minimal changes

20.12.16: Some TOCs have displayed more progress than others in making it easier for passengers to claim compensation for delays, the ORR has said – and all companies should now “move to the next level” by boosting the number of channels...

Plan to tackle complex ticketing system unveiled, but ‘wider reforms still needed’

Plan to tackle complex ticketing system unveiled, but ‘wider reforms still needed’

14.12.16: Buying train tickets will be made easier under a set of reforms promised today by the DfT, in partnership with the Rail Delivery Group (RDG). The action plan, developed in partnership with Transport Focus and consumer group Which?, commits...

Councils publish plans for Transport for the South East statutory body

Councils publish plans for Transport for the South East statutory body

13.12.16: The South East is seeking to gain its own executive transport body, newly released board papers reveal. Papers from an East Sussex County Council board meeting say that plans for Transport for the South East (TfSE) are developing “in...

Innocent fare-dodgers will be able to appeal to new independent body

Innocent fare-dodgers will be able to appeal to new independent body

12.12.16: Passengers fined for fare-dodging will be able to make an appeal to an independent body, rail minister Paul Maynard has announced. The DfT promised the new body would be independent of train operating companies and their financial owners. ...

Grayling admits DfT did not evaluate East West Rail privatisation benefits

Grayling admits DfT did not evaluate East West Rail privatisation benefits

08.12.16: Transport secretary Chris Grayling has admitted that the DfT did not carry out a thorough evaluation of the time and cost benefits of privatising the new route between Oxford and Cambridge, despite the major decision marking the first time since...

Grayling to reveal plans for fully privatised railway line

Grayling to reveal plans for fully privatised railway line

06.12.16: Under proposals drawn up by transport secretary Chris Grayling, the new route between Oxford and Cambridge will not be developed by Network Rail but instead by a new East West Rail organisation, who will also operate train services on the line. ...

Maynard outlines plans to move rail investment to Innovate UK

Maynard outlines plans to move rail investment to Innovate UK

06.12.16: Investment in innovation across rail development could be transferred from the DfT to Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency. Speaking at the Future of Rail conference on Friday, rail minister Paul Maynard said he was looking...

Network Rail set to lose monopoly over rail tracks

Network Rail set to lose monopoly over rail tracks

05.12.16: Network Rail’s sole control over Britain’s railway infrastructure will be stripped and shared with train operators in an attempt to cut down on delays and lower fares, the government is set to announce. Transport secretary Chris...

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RAIB: Croydon tram driver had ‘lost awareness’ before fatal derailment

20/02/2017RAIB: Croydon tram driver had ‘lost awareness’ before fatal derailment

The driver of the fatal Sandilands junction tram accident in Croydon, London, had “lost awareness” before the carriage he was control... more >
HS3 success key to closing bleak north-south divide, says IPPR

20/02/2017HS3 success key to closing bleak north-south divide, says IPPR

Success with HS3 is key to readdressing the imbalance in investment between the north and London, influential think tank IPPR North has argued. ... more >
ORR confirms Joanna Whittington as CEO

20/02/2017ORR confirms Joanna Whittington as CEO

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has today officially confirmed the appointment of Joanna Whittington as its permanent CEO following an open pub... more >

editor's comment

17/01/2017Rising to the digital demand

The countdown is well and truly on for this year’s UK Rail Industry Awards (UKRIA), and the whole RTM team is looking forward to welcoming you to the fourth edition of this event on 9 February.  Held once again at Battersea Evolution, the prestigious awards ceremony promises to be an extraordinary evening, celebrating some of the major achievements of the industry in the last year. You can see the awards shortlist on pag... read more >

last word

Making rail fares simpler

Making rail fares simpler

David Sidebottom, passenger director at Transport Focus, explains how a number of initiatives over the next 12 months aim to make rail fares simpler. By the end of 2017, we hope passengers w... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Southern Rail passengers reminded to claim compensation

03/02/2017Southern Rail passengers reminded to claim compensation

Southern’s annual season ticket holders have been reminded that they are entitled to claim compensation due to the franchise’s poor performance over the 2016-17 financial year. Last year, the DfT promised that Southern season ticket holders would be able to claim the equivalent of a month’s worth of fares in compensation... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The role of simulation in ERTMS training and system design

01/02/2017The role of simulation in ERTMS training and system design

Paul Boyle, head of ERTMS at Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC), discusses the role of simulation in ERTMS training ahead of this year’s &lsqu... more >
Digital railway maintenance

01/02/2017Digital railway maintenance

Tim Flower, head of maintenance at Network Rail, explains how the infrastructure owner is adopting a new approach for condition monitoring to max... more >
Challenges and opportunities for big data in the Digital Railway

01/02/2017Challenges and opportunities for big data in the Digital Railway

Dr John Easton and Dr Shruti Kohli from the University of Birmingham write for RTM about the role big data can play in transforming the country&r... more >
A better railway depends on harnessing technology

27/01/2017A better railway depends on harnessing technology

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), argues that we must change the status quo and invest in technology if we are to c... more >

rail industry focus

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interviews

Tackling regulation at its routes

24/01/2017Tackling regulation at its routes

John Larkinson, the ORR’s director of railway markets and economics, speaks to RTM about the move to regulating Network Rail at a route lev... more >