ACCORDING to the Rail Delivery Group, made up of the different partners responsible for running the nation’s railway network, “the timetable is our promise to passengers”. For the past six months, that promise has been broken time and time again in Yorkshire, with tens of thousands of services significantly delayed or cancelled.
Now a damning new report by MPs has highlighted, once again, what passengers know from bitter experience; the industry that has been causing hugely inconvenient and costly disruption to their daily lives is just not listening.
The inquiry by the House of Commons Transport Committee into the chaotic rollout of rail timetable changes in May has highlighted of the failure of anyone to take effective charge of what were foreseeable problems following delays to infrastructure work.
It states that while Transport Secretary Chris Grayling was not given all the information he needed to avert the crisis by halting the changes going ahead, he should have been more proactive concluding “it is not reasonable for him to absolve himself completely of all responsibility”.
Perhaps most damningly, the report points out that many rail users do not believe the industry is listening to their needs. MPs say the problems, which remain a daily reality, must now be a catalyst for genuine change for the many people who rely on the railways to get to work on time and return home to see their families at night.
A series of sensible measures, such as giving the worst-affected season ticket holders a discount for 2019 that covers the planned 3.1 per cent fare increase, have been proposed. But the real change that passengers want is simple– a reliable, affordable and comfortable service that gets them to ther destination on time. It is long past time for the rail industry to deliver on its most basic promise.