Rail regulator says industry 'must put passengers first'

Passengers must be put first in the future following "complacency" from the rail industry, a report says.

A sign saying "Welcome to Northern Fail" at Manchester Piccadilly
Frustrated rail users let their feelings be known at Manchester Piccadilly earlier this year

An inquiry into train timetable chaos over the summer has recommended the interests of passengers should be a "central consideration" in future.

Train operators Northern and Govia Thames Link were widely criticised after hundreds of services were cancelled or delayed in May and beyond.

An Office of Rail and Road (ORR) report accused the industry of "complacency".

The regulator called for the rail operators to improve how information was provided to customers.

Government-owned company Network Rail has also been ordered by the ORR to publish a plan explaining how it will evaluate the way new services are added to timetables.

Northern services suffered a summer of "chaos" following timetable changes in May, while RMT staff have been staging ongoing strikes in a long-running dispute over train guards.

Govia Thameslink routes into London were also badly affected.

The extent of the problem was highlighted in the report by a huge spike in compensation claims to Northern rail.

The disruption was so severe that even though the timetable change only took effect from 20 May, the number of claims recorded between 28 April and 26 May was more than double that of the previous four weeks.

Commuters across the country have faced widespread cancellations throughout 2018

In the next four weeks, they almost doubled again, with 39,968 claims - an average of almost 1,500 a day.

The Office of Rail and Road recommendations form the second phase of a review, led by ORR chairman Stephen Glaister.

Prof Glaister said passengers were "let down" by the rail industry over the summer.

"We found systemic failures that needed to be resolved in order to reduce the possibility that passengers have to endure these conditions again," he said.

"Our recommendations will now mean that, in every project, impact on passengers will be a central consideration - as it should always be."

Anthony Smith, chief executive of passenger watchdog Transport Focus, called for Govia Thameslink to introduce a system of automatic compensation for delays, as part of the improvements it has been ordered to deliver.

He added: "Someone must be clearly in charge of major timetable changes in future to ensure robust oversight and with the power to hit the stop button when something is clearly not going to work."

On Tuesday, the Commons Transport Select Committee published a highly critical report which said Transport Secretary Chris Grayling should have been more proactive in preventing the chaos.

The minister told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he had apologised "many, many times", adding "clearly we did not ask tough enough questions".

The Department for Transport has also launched a review by former British Airways chief executive Keith Williams to consider all parts of the rail industry.

Prof Glaister added: "More fundamental changes are needed in the longer term, which is the subject of the Williams Review. The ORR will contribute to that review."

Date: 07 December 2018 | Source: BBC

More UK News

Superdry warns worse to come as profits plunge

Fashion retailer considers closing stores amid disappointing sales of winter clothing

Christmas chocolate boxes: Up to half of weight is packaging

The wrapping on your Christmas chocolates could make up almost half their total weight

'Planet of the chickens': How the bird took over the world

With around 23 billion chickens on the planet at any one time, the bird is a symbol of our times, sa..

Parliament 'trespasser' held under Mental Health Act

The man was arrested by armed officers near an entrance to the Palace of Westminster on Tuesday

Theresa May to face vote of no confidence from Tory MPs

Conservative MPs are to vote later on whether or not Theresa May should stay as their leader

Lord Lester resigns from House of Lords

The former Liberal Democrat peer, who was accused of sexual harassment, has resigned his position
View More

More Telford News

 Telford man denies burgling house as couple slept

A couple were burgled while they were asleep at their home in Telford and ..

 Shropshire dairy society worker is jailed for stealing more than £300,000

An accounts assistant has been jailed for three years for stealing more th..

 Telford-based Reconomy unveils Christmas video

Outsourced waste management and recycling company Reconomy has launched it..

 Police in Telford discover hammer and machete inside crash car

Officers on patrol in Telford discovered a hammer and a machete inside a c..

 Local sculptor commissioned to design iconic artwork for Telford Centre

Sculptor Jacob Chandler has been commissioned to design an iconic piece of ..

 Occupants flee stolen car after Telford crash

The occupants of s stolen car fled the scene of a collision in Telford yest..
View More

Telford Businesses

Calendar Countdown

[[countdown here]]
[[countdown here]]

Upcoming Events in Telford

11 Dec 2018

Please refer to the website for timings

Off-Peak (11-20 December & 31 December-6 January)

Adult £18

Child/Concession £16

Family of 4 (minimum 2 children) £62

Rear Tier £10

Groups 10+ £13.50

Peak (22-30 December)

Adult £19

Child/Concession £17

Family of 4 (minimum 2 children) £66

Rear Tier £10

Groups 10+ £14.50

  • Telford Loyalty Card £13 on Sunday 16 December 5.30pm & Wednesday 2 January 2pm
  • BSL Signed Performance Friday 28 December 6.30pm
  • Relaxed Performance Saturday 5 January 11am
View Details

01 Jan 2019

Friday 1 February 7.30pm

Advance: £18

On the door: £20

View Details

06 Jan 2019


Tickets from £10

View Details

11 Jan 2019

Friday 11 January 7.30pm

Adult £15

Child/Concession £14

Family of 4 (minimum 2 children) £52

View Details

16 Jan 2019


Tickets £21.50

View Details
View More