Transport User Voice – August 2021 – A look around Great Britain

26 July 2021

London, Wales and Scotland


In a joint letter to the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), London TravelWatch and Transport Focus asked to see research on the risks of train travel during the pandemic. This came about following media coverage which attributed quotes to the RSSB saying that the risk was ‘tolerably low’ with no supporting evidence. Several London MPs have also added their support to this.

London TravelWatch has also published its initial findings from research on personal security when travelling on public transport in London. You can find out more here.


The First Minister has announced that current Covid-related restrictions will remain in place in Wales until 7 August.

In Wales, the legal requirement to wear face coverings (unless exempt) is still in place. Clear messaging will be of paramount importance so passengers know which rules apply when travelling across the border. We will be working closely with Transport for Wales to ensure there is clear information for passengers.

Over the coming months, Network Rail is engaging with key stakeholders to shape its strategic plans the future. As part of this work, we have been pressing Network Rail to ensure that the passenger voice is at the heart of planning. This includes:

  • a better understanding of the journeys passengers want to make now and in the future
  • proactive weather resilience work to avoid disruption
  • ways to make travel more sustainable
  • making sure accessibility needs are met.


On 19 July all of Scotland moved to level 0 restrictions meaning people were free to travel to any area. Wearing face coverings on public transport is still mandatory (unless exempt) as well as maintaining social distancing of one metre. A further review of the current restrictions will take place on 3 August, with any further changes coming into effect on 9 August.

Also this month, we welcomed the introduction of ScotRail’s Highland Explorer carriages along Scotland’s famously scenic west coast. These carriages have been designed to support active travel by providing people with the space and storage needed to comfortably take their bikes, skis, or other sporting gear with them on their journey. Each carriage has a total of 20 individual bike racks as well as designated seating for 24 people. The service will initially operate between Glasgow and Oban.

We are also helping shape Transport Scotland’s consultation on new bus provisions. These will provide a toolkit of options for transport authorities to support the recovery of the public transport network. This involves:

  • setting targets for journey times
  • improving reliability
  • customer satisfaction
  • growing the network.

East Coast Main Line May 2022 timetable consultation

We will be responding to the East Coast Main Line (ECML) timetable consultation process and encouraging as many people as possible to respond.

To deliver the benefits of the £1.2 billion East Coast Upgrade investment programme the opportunity is being taken to rewrite the timetable to maximise improvements to train services.

Every timetable change date can bring benefits and also cause some passengers inconvenience because of alterations to their individual services so it’s important to make sure passenger needs’ are taken into account.


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