Transport User Voice – May 2021 – What’s happening around Great Britain

28 April 2021

London, Scotland and Wales


The race to be London’s next mayor has begun and the manifestos from a number of the candidates have now been released. London TravelWatch was pleased to see many of its mayoral asks reflected in these manifestos. London TravelWatch looks forward to working with the winning candidate in carrying out these priorities for the benefit of passengers across the capital.

London TravelWatch has also been in touch with Southeastern to find out more about the temporary closure of some of its ticket offices, which the operator agreed with the Department for Transport. This potentially affects a large number of stations inside and outside of London. London TravelWatch has asked for clarification including:

  • On average, on any given day how many stations might be affected?
  • What the plans are for passengers who need assistance?
  • How will the changes be advertised to passengers?

London TravelWatch also responded to a consultation by Network Rail about Avanti’s proposals to reduce the number of ticket machines at Euston Station by 74 per cent. This would leave only one machine capable of taking cash transactions. London TravelWatch objected to the changes which are proposed to take place just after the West Midlands Trains ticket office at Euston is demolished as part of HS2 works.

London TravelWatch is about to start a new project looking into people’s personal security when using transport in London. This will involve be speaking to different groups including women and Black, Asian and minority ethnic transport users to look at how safe they feel travelling around London and what can be done to help.



Scotland moved from level four to level three on Monday 26 April which means non-essential travel within Scotland and to other parts of the UK can restart.

We have talked to transport operators to ensure that key asks from passengers in terms of reassurance are included in their communication plans. These are all the things we have found through our Travel during Covid-19 reports and other research. This includes:

  • the ability to keep a safe distance from other passengers
  • the number of people wearing face coverings
  • the behaviour of other passengers
  • what the operator does to help passengers travel safely
  • cleanliness
  • how staff helped passengers feel safe during the journey
  • an easy way of finding out how busy the service would be.

We also went to a Scottish Government workshop on proposals for the next part of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019. This involves developing the toolkit of options available to local transport authorities to support bus service improvements. We will work with the Scottish Government, bus operators and local transport authorities to make sure passengers’ needs are at the heart of new arrangements. This means gathering views from those in the communities using the local services about what they want to see changed.



Over recent months we have been working with rail operators to ensure that the return to school and college was factored into plans for services. This followed representations from concerned parents who wanted to make sure students could get to their destination safely and on time. Following our ongoing engagement, CrossCountry announced that it will reinstate the service for students travelling to Chepstow from mid-May.

We have also worked closely with Transport for Wales (TfW) to follow up on issues raised by rail user groups about the accuracy of website information. The timetable and the clarity of Covid-related travel restrictions in border areas were a key issue. We pressed for action on these points and as a result TfW has changed the information on its website accordingly. We are continuing this work to see how details about rail replacement services can be made clearer for passengers.

We have also been reviewing passenger concerns raised on social media about crowding as passenger numbers start to increase. In particular we have pressed TfW to manage this at traditionally busy locations such as Barry Island, Tenby and the North Wales coastline and on commuter routes as they start to get busier.


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