Working in partnership with London TravelWatch

Transport User Voice – October 2019 – Provide clear information and compensation, say passengers

30 September 2019

Views on Brighton main line disruption

Passengers travelling during rail engineering works want appropriate communication and compensation.

In order to minimise disruption to passengers from closures, Network Rail, working with Govia Thameslink Railway, asked Transport Focus to help research passenger awareness and experience of the works.

As the project began only a couple of months after the 2018 timetable crisis, it was important to avoid further disruption to commuters. Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway decided that the works would take place only on weekends and at February half-term.

Transport Focus carried out research to measure two main factors:

  • the success of communications activity, shown through passenger awareness
  • the effectiveness of the operational arrangements – train diversions and replacement buses, particularly during February half-term.

While significant efforts were made to try to minimise the impact on passengers, more could still be done. Passengers were frustrated about there being no compensation, and the lack of information about when the works would finish and what benefits they would bring.

Welcome investment in the rail network means that there will be short-term disruption for some passengers. But there are ways of reducing its impact. There have been some improvements in this area, but we urge industry to continue putting passengers at the heart of planning for all new engineering works.

Transport Focus is keen to continue working with train companies to help with planned closures to try to get the best outcome for passengers.

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