Press release 16th September 2014

Rail disruption happens - how can we reduce the impact?

The pressure group Railfuture is launching a campaign to reduce the impact on passengers when rail services are disrupted. “We all know rail disruption happens, but how it is handled remains the number one concern of rail passengers" said Chris Fribbins, Head of Railfuture’s Passenger Group. "Most passengers will have their horror stories about journeys that went wrong, but they will also have examples of where it went well and the rail industry must learn from that experience. We want to spread the message of good practice on the railways and demand improvements for our passengers.  We have examples of the rail industry getting it right with major projects both past and current,  for example Thameslink, and major events such as the 2012 Olympics. However there are also examples of information breakdown and passengers, and often front line railway staff, not knowing what is going on or what to do. Although there has been a rapid growth in use of technology (web, Twitter, Facebook, smartphone applications and customer information screens), passengers may not know about them. This information can be incomplete and contradictory, although it is often ahead of what the front line staff know but there are still a significant number of passengers that rely on face to face contact with staff and use public, rather than personal, sources of information. We also know that passengers hate bus replacement services, so we want to ensure that these are kept to an absolute minimum. Our challenge to the rail industry is to tell us what you are doing about the problems and involve passengers in the solutions.”

Railfuture is seeking input from across the rail industry and from rail passengers.  Both are invited to log their experiences on www.railfuture.org.uk/disruption or contact the project by emailling disruption at railfuture.org.uk. A draft report will be produced in February 2015 and a final report in July 2015.

Notes to editors:

Disruption to rail journeys remains the biggest concern of passengers with 50% of passengers saying that the biggest impact on overall dissatisfaction is how the train company dealt with delays - Passenger Focus : National Rail Passenger Survey Spring 2014

Railfuture is the UK's leading independent organisation campaigning for better rail services for both passengers and freight.

Railfuture's website can be found at: www.railfuture.org.uk

Follow Railfuture on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Railfuture

For further information and comment please contact:

Chris Fribbins
Tel: 01634 566256
email: disruption at railfuture.org.uk

Bruce Williamson, media spokesman
Tel: 0117 927 2954 Mobile: 07759 557389
email: media at railfuture.org.uk