Tell me what is happening!

19 July 2011

How the railway industry treats passengers when things goes wrong remains a problem. Our National Passenger Surveys shows some improvement in this area, but scores are low overall. We know from more research that the way delays are dealt with remains the biggest driver of dissatisfaction among those passengers who are unhappy overall with services.

All the anecdotal evidence backs this up – the post cable theft debacle at Waterloo recently – as well as the post lightning strike hold up. I caught a late running East Midlands Trains service from Manchester to Liverpool this week – I was happy because I caught a late running train otherwise I would have had to wait 40 minutes. However, lots of passengers were very vexed. No announcement about the delay, no apology, no comment. Just the standard thank you for travelling with us message on arrival. It just feels like no one cared – not very passenger focussed.

No one is pretending this is easy, but we have now had two longs periods of winter snow disruption to practice. The industry is investing more. The rail regulator is planning to toughen up the requirements to do this better. Meanwhile on the ground this remains the industry’s Achilles’ heel.

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