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Independent watchdog submits proposals to Williams Rail Review
Independent watchdog submits proposals to Williams Rail Review

Independent watchdog submits proposals to Williams Rail Review

Independent watchdog Transport Focus is the latest industry body to submit its proposals for the Williams Rail Review.

The passenger watchdog has published analysis that reveals how train operators score on trust with those who use the railways to travel, with data from journeys experienced in 2017 and 2018.

What the research from the independent watchdog highlights is the “absolute importance” in ensuring the railway runs reliably and punctually.

The Williams Rail Review, chaired by Keith Williams, looks to recommend the most appropriate organisational and commercial frameworks that will ultimately provide the greatest support for the government’s railway vision.

The submissions from the independent watchdog, Transport Focus, are the latest from rail stakeholders, as others have already made their feelings clear on what is needed to help the wider sector, businesses and passengers thrive.

Based on the evidence they have compiled, Transport Focus argue that all elements of the industry need to work together “to bring an unrelenting focus to delivering reliable and punctual services.”

In addition, the independent watchdog argues that “a right time performance culture” is necessary across the rail network; finally, there is an importance on reassessing the language and tone used when communicating with passengers, so that clear and consistent explanations are always delivered, especially in times when things go wrong.

Anthony Smith is the Chief Executive of Transport Focus; when publishing proposals, he explained the importance of public trust.

He said: “There are some wide variations between train operators that keenly reflect the passenger experience.

“Public trust in the railway is fragile but has never been more important. Building a good relationship with passengers will need to be a central part of any reform programme for the railway.

“Even small delays can damage passenger trust, so punctual services and accurate information are essential.

“New rules now require ‘right time’ reporting to the minute. This makes operators accountable for even the smallest delay – and will be key to rebuilding public trust and winning future customers.”

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