Transport User Voice – June 2019 – Bank holiday rail engineering work
28 May 2019
Winning better information for passengers
As part of its work to improve passenger information during engineering works Transport Focus regularly looks at the information and advice given to passengers in the run up to bank holiday works – a time when parts of the railway are often out of action due to repairs or enhancement work.
Ahead of the first bank holiday weekend in May 2019, Transport Focus spotted that National Rail Enquiries’ (NRE) ‘Future engineering work’ page was missing information about a Merseyrail replacement bus service due to operate between Birkenhead North and New Brighton from Saturday 27 April to Sunday 5 May.
Transport Focus also queried the advice given to those passengers wanting to use Overpool Station, which was closed due to platform improvement work. Passengers were advised to “circulate between Little Sutton and Ellesmere Port”. Transport Focus didn’t consider this the plainest of English, so working with NRE it arranged for the advice to reflect that provided on the Merseyrail website:
“Trains from Liverpool Central to Ellesmere Port will be unable to call at Overpool, to complete your journey you should travel through to Ellesmere Port and travel back to Overpool.
If you are travelling from Overpool to Ellesmere Port, you should travel on train towards Liverpool and change at Little Sutton for a train to Ellesmere Port.”
In addition to those ‘wins’, Transport Focus also worked with Govia Thameslink Railway to help ensure its passengers were given a simple explanation about which services were – and weren’t – running as the result of a track closure in the St. Pancras area. Plus, it made sure that football fans travelling to Fratton, and passengers for Portsmouth Harbour, were given a clear understanding of what stops the rail replacement bus service would be making between those stations and Chichester.
Transport Focus continues to press the wider industry to think about how it can describe engineering works more clearly to passengers to allow them to travel with confidence, and in full knowledge of what lies ahead on their journey.