Passenger information

Passenger Information Improvement Plan

30 January 2020

We have published the results of our research into the provision of information to passengers, including during disruption. This shows that whilst there have been improvements in recent years to passenger information systems, providing information, particularly during disruption, remains a challenge. The research indicated that there was no clear industry strategy for delivering improvements to providing passenger information, no agreed understanding of what good information looks like and a lack of customisation for the needs of different customer groups.

We have therefore written to ask that the industry work as one under the governance structure of the Rail Delivery Group Board to provide a Passenger Information Improvement Plan to set out how it will make tangible and enduring network wide improvements to the provision of passenger information, including during disruption. In its response, RDG commits to a strategy that will enable passengers and staff alike to have access to timely, accurate and complete information, as well as to the development of an industry plan and to the further development of the Passenger Information Measure.

Transport Focus report

Passenger information when trains are disrupted, is the Passenger Focus (now known as Transport Focus) report which was commissioned by ORR to understand whether passengers receive timely, accurate and accessible information when they face delays to their journeys.

In 2012, we introduced a new condition on the provision of information for passengers into train operator and station licences. This condition requires train operators to provide appropriate, accurate and timely information to enable passengers and prospective passengers to plan and make their journeys with a reasonable degree of assurance, including when there is disruption. Network Rail is required in its station licence to cooperate with train operators so far as reasonably necessary to enable them to meet these obligations to provide information to passengers.

To be compliant with its passenger train licence each train operator needs to publish a code of practice setting out how it will provide information to passengers, including during disruption. Most train operators use the Approved Code of Practice for Passenger Information During Disruption published by RDG. In order to comply with this the train operator must produce a local plan which gives details of how it intends to meet the requirements set out in the code of practice.

In 2014 we commissioned Passenger Focus (now known as Transport Focus) to undertake research to see whether passengers had noticed any improvement on information provision. Its September 2014 report raised concerns that improvements were not being seen by passengers in a number of areas. In response, the industry took the recommendations from the report and developed its own action plan to address them. The action plan includes 50 recommendations (called industry actions) which train operators and Network Rail have committed to deliver.

Two of the industry actions related to providing information about compensation for delays and in 2016 the super-complaint added new focus to this existing area of work which was already covered by the licence condition. In July 2016 we updated our regulatory guidance pdf icon PDF, 73 Kb, which explains more about the process, how it covers the entire customer journey and what licence holders need to do to be compliant.

In October 2016 the industry updated its code of practice to reflect the whole customer journey. The new document is published on the RDG website and includes the table of industry actions.

We continue to monitor delivery of the actions and remind licence holders of the need to published their plan and annual statement of progress. We report on the delivery of this workstream in our annual Measuring Up report.

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