Working in partnership with London TravelWatch

Rail passengers in London and the south east need better information before starting journey

09 December 2016

Latest research into rail passengers’ experiences in London and the south east from the independent watchdog is out today.

A survey of over 2,000 Southern, Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Southeastern passengers by Transport Focus, found that less than one in ten passengers found out about disrupted services before they arrived at their departure station.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:

“Southern passengers have suffered months of delays and cancellations. Continuing poor performance for passengers in London and the south east has eroded their trust in the railway.

“Passengers want to see a return to normal services as soon as possible. In the meantime train operators information about delays and cancellations need to be consistent. Transport Focus is working actively with Govia Thameslink Railway and Southeastern to improve the information available to passengers.”

The research by Transport Focus found:

  • on the last occasion that passengers were delayed, less than one in ten found out about disruption before they arrived at their departure station
  • more than three in five passengers who have been delayed for 30 minutes or more have submitted a claim for compensation
  • more than three in five passengers say that they can usually use their smartphone or device to connect to the internet when on the platform, while only one in five say that they can get a good connection throughout the whole of their journey on board the train.

Passengers using Southern have had a particularly difficult time more recently as industrial relations problems have aggravated the knock-on effects of the impact of major improvement works and existing problems with trains and track.

Transport Focus calls on the industry to better manage planned and unplanned disruption – getting services back to normal as soon as possible and keeping passengers informed.

Train operators also need to make compensation as easy as possible to claim to help ease the pain and acknowledges problems experienced.

London and the south east passenger survey panel research can be found here.

For further information please contact press office on 0300 123 2170.

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