Fares, rail policy and DfT news

24.05.18

Passenger Railway Challenge launched by Campaign for Better Transport

A new campaign has been launched to improve the country’s railways.

The Passenger Railway Challenge, launched by the Campaign for Better Transport, aims to get the best parts of the railway introduced across the entire network.

It will focus on areas that passengers have said are important to them, such as new routes and services, more seats, better trains and stations, smart tickets, and more flexible, affordable fares.

Initially, the campaign will call on the government to implement the findings of the ticketing review due to start next month and to meet its promise of having smart ticketing at every station by the end of the year.

It is also asking the government to commit to a Network Development Fund to pay for the opening of additional lines and stations.

It also calls on train operators to improve commutation with passengers when planning service changes during disruption and to treat the timetable as “a promise, rather than an aspiration”, and to engage with passengers in the forthcoming ticket review.

Thirdly, the campaign will call on the rail industry to complete delayed investment projects in order to develop a long term coherent programme for improving accessibility across the network.

Steve Chambers, public transport campaigner at Campaign for Better Transport, explained: “The Passenger Railway Challenge is a challenge to the government, train operators and the rail industry to give passengers the best experience possible.

“We know there is best practice out there, but it isn’t being shared.”

He said that the group wants to see operators learn from one another and for the government to spread good innovation through the franchise system.

“The franchising process must start putting passengers and their needs at the centre, not merely be a race to find the highest bidder. 

“We’re really excited to be launching this new campaign - we want to see the best parts of the railway on every part of the railway,” he concluded.

 

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