Disruption caused by bad weather – Passenger Focus response

11 February 2014

Responding to the disruption to rail services caused by heavy rain, David Sidebottom, acting chief executive of Passenger Focus, said:

“Flooding and storm damage is making things tough for rail passengers in various parts of the country.  It is good to see train companies accepting each other’s tickets and lifting time restrictions on tickets where there is major disruption.  Bus companies have also been helping out and extra long-distance coaches have been laid on where rail services are affected. 

“Our advice to passengers is check the latest position before setting out, either by visiting www.nationalrail.co.uk, their train company’s website or ‘following’ them on Twitter.  When trains are disrupted it is vital that passengers have accurate, timely and useful information to help them make informed decisions. 

“Passenger Focus is monitoring the quality of online information and, although there is a lot of good practice, the rail industry continues to struggle in this area.  For instance, journey planners on 10 February were still showing some trains running via Dawlish today – six days after the sea wall was destroyed.  The immediate focus is rightly on restoring services as quickly as is safe to do so, but questions do need to be asked about passenger information accuracy and whether the level of investment in weather proofing the railway needs to increase.”

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