Transport User Voice – February 2017 – Wales summit brings bus industry together
30 January 2017
Wales bus summit
Wales’ first ever bus summit was held in Wrexham to discuss how best to improve services and Transport Focus were there making sure passengers’ views were represented.
Following the announcement of the five-point plan for improving bus services in Wales, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates AM hosted the Wales bus summit.
The summit brought over 140 delegates together from across the bus industry and passenger organisations to look at how the industry can work more effectively together to deliver the best, most robust bus services possible.
Transport Focus believes the best way of understanding what passengers think about existing services and what they want to see improved in the future, is to talk to them. This insight can then be channelled into delivering more of what they want. So we welcomed the opportunity to engage with the debate and to contribute from the wealth of understanding and passenger experience that our research provides.
There is a lot of work still to be done, but we hope the summit has laid the foundations for the future stability and reliability of bus services in Wales. The bus industry will now need to engage passengers, monitor satisfaction and put their views and aspirations at the heart of the decisions they make.
Upgrading the railway in Wales
Major engineering work took place on the rail network over Christmas and the new year in Wales. One of Network Rail’s largest projects closed the lines around Cardiff, as well as bringing a new platform into operation.
We worked closely with Network Rail, Arriva Trains Wales and Great Western during the planning of passenger information and alternative service provision, raising issues and identifying improvements. We also ensured that during the works, passengers would still have ticket facilities and toilets at stations and that these services were accessible to all.
Following the works, we held a ‘lessons learned’ session with the three organisations, looking at what had gone well and highlighting areas for improvement.
We know that advance information is important for preparing passengers, so were pleased to see that this worked well, along with the replacement bus services. However, replacement services were still needed when a fault caused disruption between the two phases of work.
Closer team working and attention to passenger information were identified as improvements, but overall the work has gone well and passengers in Wales should see increased reliability as a result.