The transport secretary has written to Britain’s train companies telling them the industry needs to improve customer communications after last week’s weather troubles.
There was heavy disruption after the Beast from the East brought snow chaos and weather warnings for UK travel last week, with tales of passengers letting themselves off trains and others being stranded on them for hours.
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Chris Grayling yesterday wrote to the chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group to thank staff for working “tirelessly to recover services across the network, despite the difficult circumstances”.
He wrote: “I know many front line staff were out in freezing conditions trying to either keep, or get services running. Their efforts on behalf of passengers are to be commended.”
However, Grayling told Paul Plummer:
One area where industry needs to take further action is around customer communications during disruption.
When things go wrong, effective communication is the one mitigation that can be employed and one that is extremely important to the travelling public. There have been a number of instances which have come to my attention which do not reflect the high standard of communication passengers deserve.
Going forward I expect to see a focus on providing passengers with better information, not least in the event of cancellations, where alternatives exist for customers to complete their journey.
He plans to discuss the matter in more detail during a roundtable next week.
The RDG has been approached for comment.