UK passengers dissatisfied with inept delay handling by railways

Published on : Thursday, September 25, 2014

better-railway1-300x198The trains which were stranded in the English floods were a c dissatisfied lot. Nearly one- third of rail passengers are unhappy with the way their train company deals with delays or cancellations, a random survey has suggested. Passenger Focus’s survey said rail customers found Twitter had better information than station staff.

The passenger watchdog carried out the survey on1,020 passengers who faced delay in the previous seven days for the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR).

 

ORR said improvements had been made by rail companies, but much more were needed.
 
Less than half (43%) of those delayed were given a reason, with poor weather or signalling problems topping the list when an explanation was offered.

 

About a third (34%) of delayed passengers felt the train company handled the disruption well, mainly because they were frequently updated or it was a short delay.

 

Some 29% were dissatisfied by the way their train company managed disruption, while the remainder had no opinion.

 

Anthony Smith said: “Despite improvements, it is clear that many passengers are still dissatisfied with the way the rail industry deals with delays.

 

“Passengers need information as quickly as possible – ideally before leaving home. Only 17% knew about the disruption before arriving at the station.
 
“Passengers now receive information from a range of sources, so train companies must ensure that staff at stations and on trains are ahead of the information game.”

 

He also said passengers needed frank and honest messages that painted a realistic picture of the problems as they happened. The results of the passenger survey were sent to the train companies.
 
Less than half (43%) of those delayed were given a reason, with poor weather or signalling problems topping the list when an explanation was offered.
 
About a third (34%) of delayed passengers felt the train company handled the disruption well, mainly because they were frequently updated or it was a short delay.

 

Some 29% were dissatisfied by the way their train company managed disruption, while the remainder had no opinion.
 
Another said: “Just the facts – the live departure information is often just a joke.”
 
Passenger Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: “Despite improvements, it is clear that many passengers are still dissatisfied with the way the rail industry deals with delays.
 
“Passengers need information as quickly as possible – ideally before leaving home. Only 17% knew about the disruption before arriving at the station.
 
“Passengers now receive information from a range of sources, so train companies must ensure that staff at stations and on trains are ahead of the information game.”
 
Action plan
He also said passengers needed frank and honest messages that painted a realistic picture of the problems as they happened.

 

“For instance, a fallen tree across a railway is just that, not an ‘obstruction’. Passengers told the full reasons for the delay are likely to be less frustrated than those who are not.”
 
Michael Roberts, director general of the Rail Delivery Group which represents Network Rail and rail operators, said: “The regulator has welcomed the industry’s commitment to improving communications with passengers during severe weather.

 

“However, everybody felt that more needs to be done.

“Once the industry has published its full action plan with clear dates and responsibilities for delivery, ORR will closely monitor the rail industry’s progress against this – to ensure passengers are empowered with the right information during disruption.”

 

 

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