Planning engineering works: what works for passengers

16 December 2015

‘Talk to me clearly, early and often,’ passengers tell train companies

Independent watchdog Transport Focus hopes to help reduce the impact of disruption for rail passengers.

Passengers welcome investment in the rail network, and over the next few years tens of billions will be spent on Network Rail and train operators’ work to improve journeys across the country. However passengers will also have to endure disruption to their journeys while these much-needed, long-promised benefits are delivered.

David Sidebottom, passenger director at Transport Focus, said:
“If the rail industry is to retain the confidence and trust of its passengers, it is vital that it takes full account of their needs when planning engineering work. We were reassured that Great Western Railway (GWR) is committed to understanding more about its customers’ needs and worked with us on this research.”

“With so much work coming up across Britain, and so many passengers still reporting that they get poor and unhelpful information, it is key that the whole of the rail industry listens to this message.”

Mark Hopwood, managing director of Great Western Railway, said:
“We have seen significant investment in the Great Western route over the past few years and there is more to come. It is exceptionally important that we are doing the right things for our customers as the investment continues, and it is important that the work we have done with Network Rail to minimise the impact of this work on our customers really hits the mark. To this end we have worked closely with Transport Focus on this extended project enabling us to really get immersed in the customer experience.”

The report Planned rail engineering work: the passenger perspective looks at passengers’ experiences from two sets of planned works, at Reading and Bath Spa, in 2015.

The watchdog makes recommendations for planning and communications activities around future works anywhere on the railway. The timing, content, type and tone of information that different passengers require, as well as their perspective on the way the disruption is handled, are key to keeping passengers happy.

Passengers needs during engineering from Transport Focus on Vimeo.

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