Warn passengers about inaccurate timetables – watchdog calls special Board meeting

11 May 2018

Transport watchdog challenges rail industry over insufficient warnings for passengers when engineering works will affect their travel plans.

The independent watchdog has called a special meeting of its Board on Tuesday 15 May. It will ask senior industry representatives to explain what is being done to better warn passengers, and how quickly it will be sorted out.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:

“The timetable on some parts of the railway just can’t be relied on. The rail industry must do more to warn passengers about inaccurate timetables so they can plan their journeys.

“We’re calling on all train operators and ticket websites like Trainline to give passengers clearer warning if their journey will be by a replacement bus or simply will not run.”

Transport Focus is monitoring whether the rail industry is meeting its temporary six-week target to get timetables correct. This follows Transport Focus’s investigation in December 2017 which highlighted serious failures to meet the 12-week target.

Transport Focus is 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.

Notes to editors

The Board will hear from:

  • Crispin Humm, Head of Customer Journey, Rail Delivery Group
  • Paul McMahon, Managing Director Freight & National Passenger Operators, Network Rail
  • John Davies, Retail Director, Trainline.

For more details to attend the meeting or to arrange an interview in advance with Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith, contact Kieran Watkins kieran.watkins@transportfocus.org.uk / 0300 123 0836.

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