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Rail passengers 'crying out' for information on delays


Rail passengers 'crying out' for information on delays

Published Date: 01 December 2010
Rail passengers are "crying out" for better information when they are delayed, a case history report by a train travel watchdog showed today.
Instances of people stuck with no information on freezing platforms and others getting conflicting news about trains featured in the experiences of 1,000 rail travellers gathered by Passenger Focus.

Asked to give details of their delays, some of the 1,000 people - all regular rail users - spoke of unhelpful rail staff, a lack of apologies and information when things went wrong and staff not knowing what was going on.

On the credit side, some passengers suffering delays told of good communications and considerate and apologetic staff.

These were some of the responses from passengers:

* Durham to Newcastle - "It was freezing cold, the station staff said they had no idea when a train would come, one finally came up on the fast line and did not stop, then some unable to be heard message on tannoy system, no free hot drinks offered. No train between Durham and Newcastle for over an hour on freezing cold January rush hour evening with no info or help."

* Maidenhead to London - "There was no information regarding the cancellation of my original train until after it was due to arrive, and even then the displays showed 'on time'. I find it incredible that they didn't know before that the train was cancelled."

* Whitton, south-west London, to London - "Checked website before leaving home. Train showed as on time. Reached station and boards showed eight minutes late. This became 14 then 18 then 20 then 24, 26, 27 and then the train was abruptly cancelled. Went home. Information should not be put on the website if it is incorrect."

* London to Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire - "There was complete chaos at the station. No one knew what was happening, including the staff."

* Brighton to London Bridge - "Communication on the train was good. It makes such a difference rather than be left wondering in silence."

* London to Harlow town, Essex - "The driver gave us regular updates on our delay and he apologised as well."

Passenger Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: "A key finding was that passengers who are kept informed when they are delayed walk away reasonably satisfied with how things were handled. But this does not happen every time.

"Bad winter weather will again put a strain on industry information systems and staff just when passengers need extra information and advice.

"It is clear the industry is taking this issue seriously with a number of initiatives designed to improve the accurate estimates of delay and proactive information given to passengers.

"However, there is a clear message to operators and Network Rail that
they need to up their game."

For more information subscribe to the following news service : http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/Rail-passengers-39crying-out39-for.6644851.jp
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