There was bound to be a certain amount of upheaval as new timetables came into effect on a number of rail networks, but two weeks down the line, the situation shows no sign of abating.
In the wake of the bank holiday, fewer than half of the trains on Thameslink’s central London route were running to schedule on Tuesday morning. This has left commuters confused, late and even stranded in some circumstances.
But disruption has not been confined to just one provider, as passengers have been frustrated across the rail network. To confound this further, some commuters have been unable to claim for trains that had disappeared from published timetables.
Commuter groups discovered a leaked memo from Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to train staff warning of cancellations. This information was not passed onto passengers in a timely manner, thus leading to accusations that the train company was failing to be transparent in its dealings with the public.
Emily Yates, co-founder of the Association of British Commuters, told the Guardian: “GTR are amending the timetable at the last minute and then cancelling loads of trains anyway. This is not good practice from any perspective. They knew that this chaos was coming, failed to prepare and failed to warn passengers in the undeniable public interest.”
One of the main complaints that has been put forward by commuters is the inability to plan journeys due to lack of information. This means that some people are having to lead inordinate amounts of extra time to get into work by train, while others are not making it at all.
Frustrated rail passengers can switch up their commute and travel to work by coach instead. They will benefit from a reliable service, guaranteed seat and free Wi-Fi to get updates straight to their mobile phones.
When asked for comment, a spokesperson for GTR issued an apology for the disruption. They went on to say: “We are working on a recovery plan with rail industry partners. Meanwhile, as late notice changes continue to be made, we ask passengers to check train times on the day of travel. We expect disruption to ease over the coming month.”
It is therefore unclear how long the problems will go on for, but rail passengers look set to have difficult journeys for the short-term at least. Since commuting is such a big part of working life for many people, it makes sense to find the easiest way to get to work each day.
Photo credit: iStock/NicoElNino