Transport User Voice – June 2018 – Challenging the rail industry over ‘unreliable’ timetables

23 May 2018

We challenged the rail industry over ‘unreliable’ timetables at a special meeting of Transport Focus’s Board.

Senior representatives from Network Rail and the Rail Delivery Group were questioned by the Board over what was being done to warn passengers about how timetable changes and engineering works will affect their journeys.

We are calling for:

  • the rail industry to return as quickly as possible to publishing an accurate timetable 12 weeks in advance and to ensure that this won’t happen again
  • all train operator websites and ticket websites showing incorrect trains to carry a red triangle warning
  • it to be crystal clear to passengers that trains will not run when they see a warning triangle online and for clearer warning when a journey will be by bus.

At the Board meeting Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said:

“The rail industry must do more to warn passengers about inaccurate timetables on all websites, including National Rail Enquiries, Trainline and others.

“We’re calling on the rail industry to act now to stop websites selling tickets for trains that they know won’t run.”

Click here to read our update on how well industry is alerting passengers to potential changes.

Rail timetable and digital revolution

This planning was put to the test this month as part of the timetable revolution.

Nearly half of Britain’s trains services have had their timetable changed – the new Thameslink timetable among other things has caused a huge knock on effect.

New services, faster and longer trains and redeveloped stations are all good investments. However, some passengers will lose out because of retimed trains, longer journeys and peak fares, with some losing their trains altogether. We will continue to monitor the fairness of the overall changes as they bed in. You can read more about this here.

The investment in the ‘digital railway’ announced recently could help improve the timetable and planning engineering works. You can read an article our chief executive wrote on the passenger view on all this here.

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