Train passengers being 'misled' over Christmas travel

Cornelia Mascio
Dicembre 13, 2017

Rail firms blamed the problem on Network Rail failing to finalise its schedule of engineering work over the festive break, but the report said the errors were creating a "sense of distrust in the railway".

Mr Grayling said: 'It would be totally unacceptable if any passenger has to pay walk-up fares this Christmas because advance tickets were not available.

The Transport Secretary urged Network Rail and train companies to "work more closely together to minimise disruption for passengers and ensure this issue does not happen again".

"I expect passengers to be offered the highest standards of customer service and have ordered an immediate investigation into this report".

Transport Focus found almost 15,000 errors in the database, and claims that many travellers will only find out about cancelled services when they have already started on their journey - many of which will occur during the week of Christmas.

Greater Anglia, Great Western, London Midland, South Western, Southern and Virgin Trains all charged more.

An investigation by Transport Focus found some operators are selling tickets for trains which will either be disrupted by engineering works, or may not run at all.

"That can't be right".

The failings mean passengers have been "mislead", the watchdog said, and could be forced to buy more expensive "on the day" tickets.

"We will discuss with members potentially through National Task Force, develop a plan and get back to you more fully before Christmas".

"Companies should at least advise people so they have the option of knowing and planning other routes".

It also said the delay in finalising the timetable prevents the cheapest advance tickets being released, meaning only the most expensive tickets will be offered to passengers who try to book 12 weeks ahead to get the best deals.

The watchdog is calling for passengers who have already bought tickets to be adequately notified when there are changes to the timetable, and for incorrect timetabling information to be removed from the internet or a warning applied.

A spokeswoman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the rail industry, said: 'Rail companies are working together with a long-term plan to improve services and in some places this is causing disruption.

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