The Great Easter getaway

24 March 2016

Today sees half of all Britain’s drivers taking to the road as rail passenger numbers drop during the holiday period. Highways England is lifting or finishing early most roadworks on major roads as Network Rail’s ‘Orange Army’ of workers descends to mend and improve the railways.

As ever it’s all about information which will help transport users make informed decisions about what to do and when and feel a bit more in control if they encounter problems.

BBC News Online’s travel information cites the AA as the source of its traffic hotspots. Should that come from Highways England? Does it matter? The A303,  somewhat predictably, headed the list of hotspots.

The rail industry is getting much better at providing engineering information. Network Rail stations have been leading the pack, but train companies like GWR are building on previous good work we have done with them. This seatback information on a GWR train is a good example.

GRW Easter 2

Getting travel information right is half the battle. It needs to be matched with good information when buying a ticket. Tricky when passengers might be buying an Open Return ticket. Interesting that the BBC website talks about airports with no mention of the fact there will be no Gatwick Express rail service! However, good information has appeared on ticket machines, to help ensure passengers don’t buy tickets for trains that are not running:

Gatwick TVM

Meanwhile in the background, somewhat quietly, the Cinderella of British travel – the coach – adds extra services with some great knocking copy advertising – see below.

National Express passenger satisfaction

Buses? No idea – I assume they operate as normal moving millions of passengers.

Have a good break and safe travelling. I am going up to visit Manchester with the family. After 17 years of visiting Manchester on business I’m finally going to look round! The Virgin Seat Sale was great – £60 return for four of us. Now that is value for money!



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