Rail franchises operators & contracts

03.07.18

TOCs take out newspaper ad apologising to customers, pledge new timetable in two weeks

Major train firms have taken out a half-page advert in a major newspaper to apologise to customers for “ongoing problems” since the chaotic introduction of new timetables on 20 May.

South-eastern TOCs GTR and Great Northern, in partnership with Network Rail, purchased the ad in free newspaper Metro, offering a “sincere apology” for the bedding in of the new timetables that has led to delays, cancellations, and frustrated passengers over the last two months.

The advert acknowledged that services were “failed to launch as planned,” resulting in significant delays, cancellations and disruption.

It went on: “We apologise sincerely and unreservedly for the impact this has had on your daily lives.”

The firms added that a new timetable, which they aim to be “more dependable” and give more focus to peak trains to give “more certainty to plan your journeys to and from work,” is to come in to effect in two weeks on 15 July.

Last month, the chief executive of struggling operator GTR Charles Horton resigned, citing that passengers have been “hugely frustrated at the significant disruption” caused by the introduction of new timetables.

Yesterday, reports surfaced of GTR potentially losing its franchise if services don’t improve after the new timetable implementations, although the information was from an undisclosed government source.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said that GTR have “taken the blame game to a whole new level in this barrage of propaganda,” and labelled it “unbelievable” that they can get away with “patronising nonsense.”

The apology comes after recent figures released by Network Rail revealed that new train timetables have had a negative effect of punctuality of trains across the country.

In the South East, 36% of Thameslink lines missed their targets for punctuality, double compared to the previous year.

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Image credit: olaser, iStock

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Former Aston Villa chair announced as WMCA HS2 growth delivery chair

21/09/2018Former Aston Villa chair announced as WMCA HS2 growth delivery chair

Steve Hollis has been announced as the new chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) HS2 growth delivery board. A former chairman... more >
Major northern station upgrade reaches phase two of redevelopment

21/09/2018Major northern station upgrade reaches phase two of redevelopment

Plans to improve the Doncaster Railway Station have reached phase two of the redevelopment process. Work has begun on the plans, developed b... more >
Northern unveils new digital train for roll-out at end of year

21/09/2018Northern unveils new digital train for roll-out at end of year

Northern has unveiled its refurbished Class 158 digital train for passengers, ahead of the new fleet’s complete roll-out by the end of the ... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

The East Coast franchise report tells us what we already knew: it was a bid set up to fail

18/09/2018The East Coast franchise report tells us what we already knew: it was a bid set up to fail

RTM's Jack Donnelly assesses what the Transport Committee's latest report on the VTEC franchise means for the industry as a whole “Even now, there is no concrete plan, nor timescales, for the interim operator of this franchise. From our inquiry, we cannot be sure, and cannot reassure passengers or public, that the arrangements ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Northern Powerhouse Rail: The need for change

18/09/2018Northern Powerhouse Rail: The need for change

Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) will be transformational for the north – it will change the way people live, work, and play. It will rebalan... more >
Innovation through people and technology

18/09/2018Innovation through people and technology

Ian Prosser, HM chief inspector of railways and director of railway safety at the ORR, picks out the key industry challenges to focus on based on... more >
Why we all must mind the gap

18/09/2018Why we all must mind the gap

Clair Mowbray, chief executive of the National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR), explains how we can all ensure the UK’s next generation... more >
3D printing: from virtual to real

11/09/20183D printing: from virtual to real

Like so many other technological advancements, 3D printing has moved from being the stuff of science fiction, through niche industrial applicatio... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

29/08/2018Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

RTM’s Jack Donnelly sat down with one of the leading minds behind Network Rail’s most advanced and innovative rail maintenance techno... more >