Transport User Voice – October 2022 – Looking at Scotland and Wales
29 September 2022
Improving information and future plans
September saw the Programme for Government published by the Scottish Government. This contained the aim to deliver the vision of an affordable, zero carbon and modern transport system.
This included the policy to freeze ScotRail fares until March 2023 and complete a fair fares review. This would deliver options for a sustainable and integrated approach to all public transport fares. The Scottish Government also committed to work with the private sector to deliver £60 million of public and private investment to double the size of the public charging network to at least 6000 electric vehicle charging points over the next four years.
We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday 8 September at Balmoral. We talked to ScotRail during this time to ensure that refunds were offered to passengers who could not travel due to previously booked events being cancelled. We commented on the operational plan put in place to allow people to pay their respects in Edinburgh being robust with additional services and carriages provided for travel to/from Edinburgh.
We also attended the LNER forum in Edinburgh earlier this month. Plans include over the next 12 months:
- To simplify the ticketing system and reduce the number of ticket types, making it much easier and less stressful for passengers to book travel.
- A real push to give disabled passengers the same flexibility and level of service as other passengers. For example allowing disabled passengers to book their own wheelchair space online and reducing the advance notice required for booking passenger assistance to two hours, with plans to trial a turn-up-and-go service.
- A campaign to encourage passengers to be kind to staff onboard the train, by reminding us all that staff are people with feelings just like everyone else.
- A programme to renovate the toilets at LNER stations.
We have been working closely with Transport for Wales on several areas of the passenger experience over recent weeks. While out and about on the network, we noticed the glass in the shelter at Briton Ferry had been vandalised and broken glass was all over the platform. We reported this back to Transport for Wales, who confirmed that this has now been rectified. We’ll soon be out around this patch again with the station manager to look at some of the plans to make improvements for passengers at stations and discuss some of the challenges Transport for Wales faces and who it is working with to try to address them.
We have pressed Transport for Wales to improve information to website information for passengers connecting with other transport, for example by air. We are pleased to report back that the website has been updated and its development team is looking at potential further improvements to information.
We have also recently met colleagues at Sustrans Cymru, where we presented our sustainability research. The topic stimulated some interesting dialogue about challenges to overcome in terms of reaching sustainability targets.
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