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

31 January 2018

Performance and handling disruption well are key themes for transport users and us.

Looking ahead from 20 to 28 October this year and from 16 to 24 February 2019, no trains will run between Three Bridges and Brighton or between Three Bridges and Lewes in Sussex. These closures will allow the upgrade of a stretch of railway that is responsible for more delays to passengers than any other section in the south east of England.

Building on the work we have done at Liverpool Lime Street, Reading, Waterloo, Glasgow Queen Street among other places Network Rail has asked us to help assess, monitor and fine tune the information given to passengers during these works.

We are also working with Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester and the rail industry to improve compensation following delays to the Bolton electrification scheme.

Done right, this sort of investment can be relatively painless. Done wrong and passengers will desert the railway.

A good win for passengers and us was the Government’s decision to set up an Independent Appeals Panel for rail Penalty Fares following our campaigning. Recruitment is now taking place – get your name in the hat!

Boosting the user voice

Boosting the user voice in long-term decision-making is another key theme. Good progress to report here. We have asked cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians about their experiences of using or crossing the Strategic Road Network. The results will feed into future planning. We continue to take part in many of the local authority/bus operator alliances with our Bus Passenger Survey used as a key success measure. We are heavily involved with the new Wales and Border franchise. Our team has, on behalf of the Welsh Government, been combing over the passenger-facing aspects of the bids – a key time to get the passenger voice heard.

Last chance to put your name down for our Birmingham launch of our work on young people and buses. We hope this work will drive change to get and keep, more younger passengers on buses.

Other wins

Other wins this month include:
• working with Brighton & Hove buses to improve disruption management
• improving the accuracy and quality of information about Xmas engineering in the Southampton area
• improvements made to St Pancras station ‘Arcade’ toilets following NRPS feedback – others to follow
• improved information about lack of catering during strikes from Virgin Trains
• Highways England is, following our advocacy, improving signs to help stop drivers going the wrong way down slip roads.

Finally, don’t forget to have your say in our reader survey.

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