Working in partnership with London TravelWatch

Transport User Voice – Time to plan your Christmas journeys

22 November 2017

Have you planned your Christmas train journey?

We know engineering works can be a real pain for passengers travelling over Christmas. Transport Focus is working to make sure passengers get all the information they need to cope with disruption at Christmas.

Passengers tell us they understand investment in maintenance and improvement is necessary. But our research is clear: passengers want to stay on the train wherever possible, they want to know before buying a ticket if part of the journey will be by bus, and they want plenty of staff on hand to help.

Notably Paddington station will be closed for four days with no trains in or out of the station from 24 to 27 December for Crossrail work. This will mean that passengers travelling to and from Heathrow airport will also face disruption.

There will be no South Eastern services at London Bridge and Charing Cross, Cannon Street and Waterloo East will be shut in advance of the reopening of London Bridge station and its new concourse.

Significant work around Southampton between 23 December to 1 January will also see alterations to South Western Railway services. In the West Midlands, the link between Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton will be disrupted from Christmas Eve to 2 January. With more disruption planned well into the New Year passengers are advised to check before they travel.

We have shared our new research, highlighting passenger experiences and priorities during engineering works, with Network Rail and train operators to help shape the information that will be going out to passengers. We have also highlighted the importance of passengers being able to easily find out what the works will mean for them.

We have also made clear to operators that, when there are no engineering works, the railway should be open for businesses whenever it is needed. Boxing Day is typically a day when people want to get out and about – there are a number of sports fixtures, the sales start and of course many will have to work. People may well wonder why those lines without engineering works remain shut down.

Don’t forget coaches will be serving many locations affected by rail disruption this Christmas. More services than ever will be running throughout Christmas day, Boxing day and into the New Year.

We would urge anybody who is travelling during the Christmas break to check their journey on http://www.nationalrail.co.uk.

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