Working in partnership with London TravelWatch

Transport User Voice – September 2021 – What’s happening across Great Britain

27 August 2021

Wales, Scotland and London

Wales

Covid-19 restrictions in Wales

Wales completed its move to alert level zero on 7 August meaning most of the existing Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.

However, the requirement to wear face coverings on public transport and in shops remains. This means that rules between England and Wales differ. It is essential that operators make it clear to passengers what is expected of them when travelling.

We have been pressing all operators who run services across the border to ensure that regular announcements are made on board services, particularly in areas where the rules change. We also want to ensure that messaging on all websites, newsletters and social media reminds passengers what they need to do.

‘Fflecsi’ extended across Newport

Transport Focus Wales is working with Transport for Wales (TfW) to understand people’s views and experience of new ‘fflecsi’ bus services being piloted in a number of areas of Wales. The buses are booked through an app or over the phone, with flexible routes and live updates to help make travel easier.

A major expansion of the services has just launched across Newport, with a fleet of new, smaller buses that will complement existing scheduled bus services.

It will offer a wider range of journeys from early mornings to later in the evenings and on Sundays. Transport Focus Wales is planning research to ask people what they think about the services and how they work as part of overall transport available in the area.

Cardiff signal failure review

Rail passengers in Cardiff had their journeys disrupted on Saturday 26 June by a rail signalling failure.

Transport Focus took part in the review and raised several recommendations. This included focussing on clearer passenger information, alternative travel and ensuring there’s sufficient back-up systems for when signal failures happen.

These have been noted and we will continue to work with operators to help with further improvements.

Scotland

ScotRail has unveiled plans for a new timetable from May 2022.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, ScotRail responded to shifting travel patterns and demand as lockdown restrictions were revised and adjusted. It made 12 timetable changes during a period when normally there would only be three. ScotRail has reflected on what worked during this period and built on that as part of its plans for future timetables.

Proposals for the May 2022 timetable were discussed at the Scotland Rail Taskforce that Transport Focus attends on behalf of passengers.

A key pillar of any timetable change must include the delivery of a reliable timetable day in and day out. Improving value for money is also hugely important. While passengers may not realistically expect prices to drop, they do expect the basics to be right in and to get the service they pay for.

It is important that both passengers and stakeholders affected by the proposed changes have the opportunity to comment before the timetable’s implementation. For more details of the consultation process, or to fill out the survey, please see the ScotRail website.

London

London TravelWatch has released a survey which will run over the summer as part of its personal safety on public transport work.

The findings will help to ensure that the transport industry places an emphasis on safety while travelling.

From previous research it’s been found that women, people from minority ethnic backgrounds, disabled people and younger people, are more worried about their personal safety when travelling. So, people from within these groups are encouraged to share their views.

You can complete it here.

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