Working in partnership with London TravelWatch

Transport User Voice – August 2022 – Summer days of disruption

21 July 2022

How have passengers fared?

It’s been an interesting time for passengers. Last month we had the biggest strike action since the 70s with more on the horizon. And now we’ve just had record-breaking temperatures which resulted in advice not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

Public transport is still bouncing back from the effects of the pandemic. We want to make sure operators are doing all they can to rebuild people’s trust.

Both before and during the strikes we spoke to passengers to understand the impact on them and, if they had travelled, what their experiences were like. We wanted to make sure train operators were providing clear information on what services would and wouldn’t be running so passengers could plan their journeys. And how they could get their money back if they didn’t travel.

Passengers who used routes that were open generally reported a positive experience and the rail industry deserves credit for that. Refund and compensation arrangements were fair and information was generally good. We did identify some areas of improvements for both though which we have passed on.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the situation if the strike action goes ahead on Wednesday 27 July.

We were pleased that following this week’s extreme heatwave warnings the Government announced rail season ticket holders who chose not to travel could claim compensation.

While people understand mitigations such as slow running trains and closed roads, it was key that they have clear information so they could make other plans if needed. Looking ahead, it’s important that investment continues to ensure our infrastructure is sufficiently resilient against the ever-increasing instances of extreme weather. Again this is something we’ll be keeping an eye on to make sure passengers are getting both clear information and fair compensation.

It’s also important to note that our chief executive Anthony Smith has been appointed to the new Network Rail resilience taskforce in wake of the heatwave disruption. We along with other independent experts will investigate and make recommendations on how the railway can develop its approach to resilience during hot weather following this week’s heatwave disruption.

Great to see the industry getting together and being proactive in sharing best practice.

 

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