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Timely information essential if passengers are to tolerate disruptions

Passengers are understanding about disruptions caused by railway maintenance so long as they are given the right help and information, a report has said today.

Transport Focus’s report, ‘Routine railway maintenance: passenger perspectives and priorities’, published last week, looks at passengers’ views on disruption.

It reveals that passengers understand the need to keep the railway in good condition when it is explained to them, but are frustrated by poor communication of alternatives if the service is altered.

Transport Focus is now calling on the industry to tell passengers why the work is happening, give them accurate and timely information at least 12 weeks in advance so that they can plan their journeys with confidence, and help passengers with alternative options, which should be communicated clearly.

Network Rail, Southeastern and Govia Thameslink Railway have signed up to a working group chaired by Transport Focus, to tackle the issues highlighted in the research in an attempt to improve passenger experience during disruption caused by routine maintenance.

Chief executive of Transport Focus, Anthony Smith, said that passengers will tolerate a certain level of disruption if it will help with the long term running of the railway, but that “they expect to be kept well informed and helped to make alternative plans where needed.”

John Halsall, Network Rail’s route managing director for the south east, added: “The railway in the south east is the most intensively used part of our national network and requires regular maintenance to keep trains running safely and reliably.

“Understanding what passengers want means we can put their needs at the heart of how we manage the railway, which is why this research is so valuable to us as we develop our plans for the next few years.”

Top image: Alastair Grant - PA images

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Neil Palmer   19/12/2017 at 00:47

Did we need yet another report to state the bleedin' obvious?

Richard   19/12/2017 at 00:59

@Neil Palmer Yes sadly but regrettably we probably do as none of the TOC's seem to take notice. Their first priority often seems to be finding someone else to blame!

Jerry Alderson   19/12/2017 at 18:00

I was stuck on Cambridge Station on 5th December because of a combined "points and signalling failure". Loads of CIS screens around the station and nearly all of them were showing a long-winded message. Virtually none showed the details of the trains, some of which were still running. The one screen that did show useful info was on a loop so you had to wait two minutes to see the page that mattered.

Thames Valley Traveller   19/12/2017 at 22:55

Something really should be done to horsewhip the information controllers at PADDINGTON. I regularly use 1K96 the Bedwyn service formed by into PAD 6car 2x3 set from OXF. It then splits front set working 1K96, arrives PAD 2213. 1K96 departs 2221, platform 14 but does vary. Almost nightly in the last few minutes it is put up as Delayed. Then at 22.21 announced as ready to depart and passengers have to run from the lawn often to P14 to board. Without exaggeration I nearly had a heart attack last time, it to me about 10 minutes for it to settle down. I have complained to GWR about this before, I am not the only one to complain. YET NOTHING is done.

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