Transport User Voice – November 2016 – Anthony Smith’s editorial

26 October 2016

Investment rules!

Great to see the announcements around the new Greater Anglia franchise: new trains, better punctuality and improved ticketing all things passengers want to see.

Plus better targets on and monitoring of satisfaction during the franchise using our National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS). Long-term, sustained investment is what will make most difference to transport users.

However, over on Southern things haven’t been so positive, with a difficult few months of poor performance and industrial disputes.

We’ve already started working with the new project board set up to tackle these issues. We will have extra NRPS surveys carried out on Southern to boost the detailed feedback we can provide.

We welcomed news from the Government that Southern will be the first operator to change to a 15-minute trigger for Delay Repay. This should help to start building back passenger trust.

However we want to see all operators do more to alert passengers to compensation. They expect the process to be smarter and automatic, taking the onus off them to have to claim in the first place – ultimately, automatic Delay Repay is the way forward.

Lots of investment on roads to discuss at our November public board meeting being held in the midst of the Highways UK conference at the NEC in Birmingham. We are also holding a stakeholder reception in Birmingham that evening – tell us if you could like to come.

We will be showcasing our work with the West Midlands Bus Alliance, which we chair (read more elsewhere in the newsletter). Our Bus Passenger Survey is one of the key measures the Alliance uses to track progress.

Transport ticketing has shot up the agenda again. The Secretary of State wants to see smart ticketing across the rail network by the end of 2018 – we are happy to help! Also we are working with the Department for Transport and the rail industry to see how the current loss of trust caused by the ability to ‘split’ your rail ticket can be effectively dealt with.

Tickets you can use with different bus companies and other modes of transport are high on the agenda at Transport for the North.

We have just published three new reports on passengers and contactless ticketing, attitudes to smart ticketing in the North of England, and a review of a smart ticketing pilot in Brighton. Feels like change could finally come in this area.


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