Rail users de­serve re­li­able ser­vice and com­pen­sa­tion

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Yourviews - An­thony Smith, chief ex­ec­u­tive, Trans­port Fo­cus

UN­PRECE­DENTED de­lays, con­fu­sion and can­cel­la­tions have made life mis­er­able in re­cent weeks for North­ern train pas­sen­gers.

In­de­pen­dent watch­dog Trans­port Fo­cus warned about timetabling prob­lems as long ago as last year. The rail in­dus­try re­sponded by tem­po­rar­ily short­en­ing timetable ad­vance pub­li­ca­tion, but as­sured us that the prob­lems are be­ing dealt with.

An in­quiry into what has now hap­pened is wel­come – in­clud­ing an un­der­stand­ing of how, de­spite strong as­sur­ances to us and oth­ers, these wel­come in­vest­ments and po­ten­tial im­prove­ments have gone sour.

The ac­tions of gov­ern­ments, Net­work Rail and train com­pa­nies needs re­view­ing so that timetable plan­ning can be put back on a ● proper long-term foot­ing.

To­day’s pas­sen­gers can­not wait for the in­quiry and are look­ing for three things now: ● Sta­ble timeta­bles and re­li­able ser­vices ● Com­pen­sa­tion for poor ser­vice, mea­sured against the orig­i­nal timetable promised, not the slimmed down one now on of­fer ● The whole rail in­dus­try to pull to­gether to help pas­sen­gers through this cri­sis. Lift ticket restric­tions and help pas­sen­gers which­ever train com­pany they need to use.

We are push­ing to make these things hap­pen on be­half of pas­sen­gers and are con­tin­u­ing to help more pas­sen­gers with their com­plaints to train com­pa­nies.

Train users have been hit with de­lays and can­cel­la­tions

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