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

Use cancelled electrification savings to boost Welsh transport, say MPs

21/05/2018Use cancelled electrification savings to boost Welsh transport, say MPs

Savings from the cancelled electrification scheme should fund a Welsh transport boost, the Welsh Affairs Committee has sai... more >
Bid to reopen Bristol line rejected by DfT

18/05/2018Bid to reopen Bristol line rejected by DfT

Proposals to fund the re-opening of a Somerset rail line have been halted by the government’s refusal to finance t... more >
Welsh trains £200k makeover set to start

18/05/2018Welsh trains £200k makeover set to start

Work begins today on an 18-month programme to modernise fleets of Welsh trains. A £200,000 investment from Ar... 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

How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

20/03/2018How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Biometric identity, time and attendance specialists Donseed looks at how biometric technology is already starting to enhance health and safety measures on railway construction projects. Advances in technology are starting to transform the way in which the rail network in the UK is managed, operated and maintained.... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Rail: A woman’s world

18/05/2018Rail: A woman’s world

RTM’s Sacha Rowlands reports from a panel debate where six of the industry’s leading figures convened to discuss the fundamental issu... more >
Gordon Wakeford: The rail industrial revolution

18/05/2018Gordon Wakeford: The rail industrial revolution

Gordon Wakeford, managing director of the Siemens Mobility Division, explains how the company plans to make Yorkshire the base for the new U... more >
A year of change for the north

18/05/2018A year of change for the north

Achieving statutory status represents a landmark moment for northern transport and will have an enormous impact on what be achieved over the comi... more >
Make way for the D-Train

15/05/2018Make way for the D-Train

Adrian Shooter, chairman of Vivarail and former chairman of Chiltern Railways, provides an exclusive update on D-Train technology and talks about... more >

rail industry focus

  • 05/04/2018UKRIA 2018: NTAR’s response

    Below is a letter from Simon Rennie, general manager at the National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR), regarding the UK Rail Industry Awards 2018.   I am writing to...
  • 08/12/2017A game changer for Midland Metro

    The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) updates RTM’s Luana Salles on the latest projects taking place across the growing Midland Metro network. The expansion of...
  • 09/11/2017Testing tomorrow's technology today

    David Brazier, site manager and area sales manager for the UK & Ireland at OMICRON electronics, tells RTM’s Luana Salles about the major testing benefits the...
View all News

interviews

Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >