The storm: how did they do?

28 October 2013

Well there was no doubting the clarity of the Met Office message – it was going to be bad.

Passengers have told us that when services are likely to be disrupted they want three things. Firstly, they want as much notice as possible. Secondly, the information provided should match the reality of what they will find at their train station. And thirdly, they want to know what services will be running the night before.

It’s too early to tell if the industry made the right call when cancelling so many services, but the fact that major incidents have been avoided is good news.

Passengers will be keen to see the quick resumption of normal services. However, in the meantime it is essential that the industry continues to provide passengers with up-to-date info.

Our top level summary is that Network Rail and most train companies were reasonably on the ball with online information last night, although there were still significant problems with consistency, including trains showing in journey planners as running that information elsewhere implied/stated were not.  This morning pictures of trees across rail lines were very powerful.  Bus companies seemed less well prepared – only a few gave any warnings to expect trouble.  Coach – National Express encouraged people to use their journey tracker.  Megabus warning people to expect problems.

We will gather all this information together and feed it into government and rail industry learning processes – each crisis is a bit different from the last.

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