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Railhub Archive
2014-09-23 RDG-001
Rail Delivery Group


RDG: “We know passengers want clear, accurate and timely information”

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Rail Delivery Group

RDG: “We know passengers want clear, accurate and timely information”

23 September 2014
source Rail Delivery Group
type Press release

Responding to the Passenger Focus report on how the rail industry deals with passenger information during disruption, Michael Roberts, Director General of the Rail Delivery Group, representing Network Rail and rail operators said:

“Passengers are at the heart of what we do and we know they want the industry to provide them with clear, accurate and timely information so they can make informed journey choices. That is why we have worked hard to make improvements and are already committed to implementing many of the report’s key recommendations.

“The regulator has welcomed the industry’s commitment to improving communications with passengers during severe weather. The industry will shortly produce a revised plan that includes more prominent service information on websites, earlier notification of any changes to the following day’s timetable and measures to boost awareness of how to claim compensation for delayed journeys.”


Notes to editors

By this winter, the rail industry will:

o Introduce a revised Approved Code of Practice for improved handling of passenger information during disruption. Following a cross-industry review, the Code of Practice – operator's commitment for what it will do during disruption – will be revised. There are provisions to monitor quality and to hold cross-industry reviews of local plans between train companies and Network Rail to ensure they are up-to-date and good practice is shared. The revised Code of Practice has been passed to train companies to review their local delivery plans against.

o Enable more consistent real-time information at stations. Part of the Customer Information Strategy, this multimillion pound project enables consistent information to be displayed across stations as well as websites and apps provided by train companies, NRE and third parties. This is currently being delivered and hundreds of stations will be connected to the same information feed before the end of the year.

o Continue to provide Darwin train information data. National Rail Enquiries (NRE) has released its Darwin information to third party developers with more relaxed terms and conditions, and removed the requirement for a licence. Many developers have taken up this offer and it is hoped that having this data available will increase the visibility of real-time information to customers.

o Improve ‘Day A for B’ timetables to let passengers know as early as possible about the following day’s timetable so people can plan accordingly. Current processes have been re-briefed to train company and Network Rail employees, so that everyone is clear on their requirements in order to get contingency timetables into journey planning websites the night before. In addition, NRE will enable this information to be delivered automatically which will increase accuracy.

o Revise prolonged disruption planning. Learning from what happened last winter, the industry has formulated a plan to get revised timetable information into customer information systems quicker, so that passengers are able to plan accurate journeys.

o Increase the use of technology to help passengers. Many train companies have provided mobile phone handsets and / or tablets to front line staff so that they have access to up-to-date information to give to passengers.

o Include relevant tweets on NRE disruption pages. Disruption information pages on the NRE website will also feature relevant tweets alongside from NRE, train companies, Network Rail and other third parties.

o Explain delays better. Network Rail and train companies have worked on providing an explanation of the regular causes of delay. These have been – and will continue to be – publicised on stations through customer information screens and on social media. The information is available on NRE and Network Rail websites.

In addition, the industry’s plan to further improve communication with passengers during severe disruption includes:-

o More reminders to passengers of where to check information (e.g. apps, websites, Twitter, Facebook).
o Making greater use of social media to answer passengers’ real-time/live queries and to publicise updated travel plans and travel information.
o Giving greater prominence on rail company websites to urgent travel information and to make them stand out so they are easier for people to spot.
o Doing more to remind delayed passengers how to claim compensation for disrupted journeys including more announcements on trains, handing out and tweeting claim forms and email reminders sent to those who booked online.

The industry has already implemented a number of initiatives to improve information around disruption for passengers including:-

o Network Rail and train companies sharing on social media photographs of what has caused a delay and to show progress in efforts to get people moving again.
o Being flexible and allowing passengers who decide not to travel on the day of their booked train because of severe disruption to travel on an alternative day.

Although the Passenger Focus research was conducted at a time of severe weather-related disruption, figures show that 90.9% of trains arrived as planned in 2012-13, (short distance services within five minutes of scheduled arrival time; long distances within 10 minutes). Over 600m more journeys were completed punctually in 2012-13 compared to 1997-98.

Railhub Archive ::: 2014-09-23 RDG-001


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