Rail service improvements and disruptions

11.05.18

TOCs still not doing enough to keep customers informed of timetable changes

Train companies urgently need to improve how they keep passengers informed about train timetable changes, the ORR has said in a letter sent to TOCs today.

Back in February, Network Rail announced it was unable to confirm finalised timetables until six weeks in advance rather than the expected 12 weeks.

At the time, the regulator’s boss, Joanna Whittington, said her organisation was concerned about the impact this could have on travel, and urged NR to explain the arrangements put in place to minimise the impact on customers. She promised to monitor the infrastructure owner’s progress against this proposed recovery plan.

At the time, the ORR also wrote to train companies to clarify that they must ensure passengers continue to receive the best information available so the can plan journeys accordingly.

The regulator has observed some improvements since then, such as better signposting of late notice changes to timetables, but it argued “there is still much more that needs to be done to help passengers.”

For example, National Rail Enquiries provides train-specific updates and warnings, but this is not always the case on trains companies’ websites.

“ORR’s monitoring has shown that train companies are not always giving passengers good enough information to help them plan their journey,” said Stephanie Tobyn, deputy director of consumers. “This is not acceptable and that is why we have written to all train companies requiring them to set out how they will put this right.”

The ORR is therefore requiring each TOC to outline the actions they’re taking and will review these to assess if they are sufficient. It will monitor progress and keep the option for further action under review.

Its investigation into NR and how timetabling issues arose in the first place, as well as the progress being made to get it back to normal, is still ongoing.

The ORR will shortly publish a report on how train companies are keeping passengers informed of potential disruption and is coordinating research findings with Transport Focus.

Top image: VictorHuang

 

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

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Network Rail’s subsidiary secures systems integrator contract in Australia

14/12/2018Network Rail’s subsidiary secures systems integrator contract in Australia

The Australian subsidiary of Network Rail Consulting has been named as the systems integrator for the Digital Systems Pr... more >
Infrastructure giant Amey to be sold to private equity firm in new year

14/12/2018Infrastructure giant Amey to be sold to private equity firm in new year

 Infrastructure giant Amey is expected to be sold to a private equity firm in the new year, according to reports. ... more >
HS2 and Crossrail suppliers admit to running ‘illegal cartel’ for 7 years

14/12/2018HS2 and Crossrail suppliers admit to running ‘illegal cartel’ for 7 years

Two UK rail suppliers to major projects such as HS1, HS2, and Crossrail have admitted to operating an illegal cartel for... 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

Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

27/11/2018Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

Olivia Brown, business development officer at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department of the University of Warwick, outlines the four exciting projects currently taking place as part of the Coventry Very Light Rail (VLR)  programme. In RTM’s June/July issue, readers were introduced to the concept of VLR and th... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Passenger safety: Respect the edge

27/11/2018Passenger safety: Respect the edge

Claire Coward, communications lead at the RSSB, discusses her organisation’s latest passenger safety campaign. Incidents at the platfo... more >
Night Tube: The twilight economy

27/11/2018Night Tube: The twilight economy

Dr David Lutton, executive director of economy and tax at London First, argues that the capital’s night-time economy is just starting its j... more >
Monitoring the performance of earthworks

27/11/2018Monitoring the performance of earthworks

Dr Joel Smethurst, associate professor in geotechnical engineering, and Professor William Powrie, professor of geotechnical engineering, both of ... more >
Introducing iPort

20/11/2018Introducing iPort

Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, introduces the UK’s newest inland freight terminal. The UK’s newest inland rail ... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >