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Railhub Archive
2000-09-22 ATO-002


National Rail plans to make train travel crystal clear

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Association of Train Operating Companies

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National Rail plans to make train travel crystal clear

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22 September 2000
source ATOC
type Press release

Britain's passenger train operators will launch the National Rail strategy this weekend to coincide with the start of the winter timetable.

National Rail aims to make travel by train more passenger-friendly by re-emphasising that the train operators work closely together to make passengers' journeys as easy as possible.

One of the National Rail initiatives includes a new guide for Britain's National Rail network, which has received a Crystal Mark for clarity and plain English. The guide sets out for the first time train companies' joint commitments to passengers and includes a map of the National Rail network - the first for a quarter of a century. It will be available at staffed railway stations and travel centres across the country from the start of the new timetable.

It also includes information on National Rail services, who is involved, how to get information, buying tickets, planning your train journey and National Rail standards that passengers can expect to be met while travelling by train.

ATOC Director of Commercial Services, Philip Benham, said: "It is important for passengers to feel confident whenever they are planning or making a journey, and that they will be well looked after by the rail industry as a whole. National Rail is about giving this assurance. We are sure that passengers, current and new, will find the map and guide extremely easy to read and useful when travelling by train, and are delighted to see it earn the coveted Crystal Mark."

Founder-director of the Plain English Campaign, Chrissie Maher said: "This leaflet passed all 35 of our tests and got the thumbs up from the public. Because there's no room taken up by waffle, the leaflet packs a lot of information in a short space. It's crystal clear this is a first-class leaflet!"

Other initiatives for National Rail include the launch of a new web site, that provides real time information for train routes, and new ticket groups that will make it easier for passengers to get the right ticket to suit their journey needs.


For more information call the ATOC Press Office on 020 7904 3010

Note to editors:

Plain English Campaign is an independent pressure group formed in 1979 to fight globbledygook and unclear public information. It funds itself through commercial activities including editing and training. The campaigning work includes annual awards for good use of plain English, and infamous 'Golden Bull' booby prizes. The Campaign's Crystal Mark seal of approval, which is based on rigorous testing on the public, now appears on more than 5000 documents.

The winter timetable starts on Sunday, 24 September 2000.

When surveying passengers on the diagrammatic map, four out of five responses favoured the new map because they found it clearer than previous maps. Passengers also gave a positive response to showing the London termini.

National Rail standards or 'passengers' promise':

o how operators will present timetable information
o organising travel arrangements for disabled passengers
o what to expect if a journey involves a change of train
o what to expect if a journey is disrupted
o how to retrieve lost property
o what passengers should do if they want to comment or complain

The guide also explains the six categories into which all tickets fall:

o buy anytime/travel anytime
o buy anytime/some travel restrictions
o buy in advance/travel anytime
o buy in advance/some travel restrictions
o multi-journey (season tickets)
o other/special

Railhub Archive ::: 2000-09-22 ATO-002


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