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Railhub Archive
2011-12-01 ORR-001
Office of Rail Regulation


Rail regulator acts on passenger information

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Office of Rail Regulation

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Office of Rail Regulation

Rail regulator acts on passenger information

1 December 2011
source Office of Rail Regulation
type Press release


The rail regulator has today set out its intention to underpin the rail industry’s initiatives for providing appropriate, accurate and timely information for passengers.

New obligations in the licences of all train companies, station operators and Network Rail will ensure the whole rail network is working together in compliance with an industry Code of Practice to deliver the best possible passenger information.

Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) Chief Executive, Richard Price, said:

"Rail passengers in Britain today rightly expect to receive reliable information so that they can plan their journeys and make sensible decisions when services are disrupted. This is a fundamental requirement, not an optional 'add on', and we need to do all we can to make sure the railways deliver.
"I welcome the rail industry’s leadership in developing its Code of Practice for improving passenger information. The code sets out standards for the provision of consistent information at regular intervals, as well as investing in staff training and communications technology. But challenges still remain - only one third of passengers think delays are handled well.
“Providing appropriate, accurate and timely information for passengers requires every train company, every station operator, and Network Rail to work consistently and cooperatively together. If one side fails it can have a significant impact on passengers.
“The new passenger information obligations we propose will allow the regulator to take action against any organisation consistently failing to meet commitments under the industry’s own code. Good performers have nothing to fear. This greater accountability will ensure that poor performers are not allowed to undermine the industry as a whole.
“It is time for passengers to have certainty that, at all times and across the whole network, all parts of the industry are working together to deliver the best information that can reasonably be provided. We look forward to working with the rail industry in their push for further improvements on passenger information.”
Notes to editors
ORR’s proposed licence changes – which follow extensive public consultation - will require licence holders to comply with the ATOC Approved Code of Practice and improvement plans. The regulator believes that this will ensure the industry acts co-operatively to bring about improvements in passenger information.
The Code of Practice defines standards for passenger information during disruption. It requires:
Information for passengers to be well structured, concise and jargon-free.
Messages to contain information on the problem and its impact, and advise customers accordingly to allow them to make informed travel choices.
An initial message to be sent to customer-facing staff within 10 minutes of an incident being notified to a control office. If this incident results in major disruption then subsequent messages should be updated at least every 20 minutes.
ORR's policy is to monitor delivery of licence requirements and to take effective enforcement action if required to resolve serious or systemic issues. The regulator aims to ensure that monitoring and enforcement is proportionate.
ORR has written to all affected licence holders proposing this change which will come into place in February 2012.
ORR is consulting on new passenger information licence conditions until 30 January 2012. Should any licence holder withhold its consent to the change, ORR will consider whether to refer the matter to the Competition Commission, which can lead to the imposition of the changes.
The consultation on passenger information during disruption can be seen at: Letter to consultees:

ORR media relations
020 7282 2094

Railhub Archive ::: 2011-12-01 ORR-001


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