Transport User Voice – October 2018 – Chief executive’s editorial

28 September 2018

Transport Focus making a difference 

We have secured a great range of wins for transport users over the past month:

  • Compensation for part time regular travellers was announced by Thameslink, Great Northern and Northern following the timetable crisis. We pushed hard to make sure that this would be offered to people who travel less regularly than season ticket holders as we believe they also deserve to benefit.
  • A recent serious accident on the A14 led to tailbacks. Highways England and the police deployed a Tesco van stuffed with sandwiches and water. Highways England staff and members of the police walked down the line of traffic to tell people what was happening. We have been pressing for practical improvements to driver welfare and information after major crashes.
  • Stagecoach Merseyside are now making young people more aware of fare deals – as a result of our research into what young people want from bus services.
  • We alerted a rail tour train operator to the fact the Balcombe Tunnel on the Brighton Line was shut on a tour date – this avoided red faces all round!
  • The Department for Transport has announced £2 million for more accessible ‘Changing Places’ toilets following our work on motorway service areas and disabled car users. Disabled motorists are now, after our advocacy, firmly in the Department’s Inclusive Transport Strategy.
  • Following timetable changes we helped to ensure the 08:45 Ely to Cambridge and London King’s Cross train is now classified as off-peak – saving money for passengers. Otherwise the 09:17 would have been the first off-peak service.
  • Improved roadworks signs on the M621 near Leeds – more information about what, why and when the roadworks are taking place is a direct result of our work with Highways England Yorkshire.
  • Mobility assistance telephone numbers are now more prominent at London Victoria station.
  • Numerous changes made to train company websites now mean the impact of engineering works is clearer to the travelling public.
  • Our work earned a good mention also from Robert Talbot, chair of the Lakes Lines Rail User Group: “I trust that you are aware of the excellent 30-page report undertaken by Transport Focus in the summer”.

This is what we are all about – making a difference, driving improvements and making transport users’ lives better. Consumer focused, evidence based and useful – that is our mantra!

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