Govia Thameslink Railway fine – passengers must see the benefits
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has been fined £5 million by the Office of Rail and Road over its failure to provide appropriate, accurate and timely information during the introduction of the new timetable last summer. This should be a wake-up call to train companies that accurate passenger information really matters.
Good information during disruption is vital so passengers can plan alternative journeys. This was inadequate on some Govia Thameslink Railway routes and information was often poor. Clearly passengers remain concerned about the way the rail industry handles unexpected disruption to their trains.
So, if it was passengers who felt the pain during this period, they should be the ones to benefit from this penalty. It’s imperative that the money from this fine is reinvested to benefit those passengers who suffered rather than simply going back into Government coffers with the focus on improving performance and disruption management.
Transport Focus will be working with GTR and other passenger groups to ensure decisions reflect passenger priorities. Based on what we already know rail passengers want, swift changes to improve passenger information and make journey planning easier.
We know GTR has learned lessons on providing better information during such incidents and have implemented several initiatives to improve information at stations and on trains. Transport Focus is working closely with GTR using our passenger insight on disruption management to improve information and will continue to measure improvements through our National Rail Passenger Survey.
This money must translate into a reliable railway that offers more accurate information for passengers.